Malachi's Message

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I. The LORD’s Passion for Israel.

Malachi 1:1–5 ESV
The oracle of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” If Edom says, “We are shattered but we will rebuild the ruins,” the Lord of hosts says, “They may build, but I will tear down, and they will be called ‘the wicked country,’ and ‘the people with whom the Lord is angry forever.’ ” Your own eyes shall see this, and you shall say, “Great is the Lord beyond the border of Israel!”
Let me help you understand what is going on here. Malachi is a prophet of God. He has been called by God and sent by God to share the Word of the LORD of hosts to the people of Israel.
During this time the people of Israel had returned to their promised land, rebuilt the temple, and the walls around Jerusalem. They were now just waiting to experience the continued blessings of God. But, it was like they were still struggling, they were still not seeing the land produce crops like they thought it would, and they were still struggling financially and economically. Is what like they were still in a depression.
That is why they ask “How have you loved us?”
The Lord reminds them, “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated.” In other words, you know I have loved you, I have fulfilled my promise to you by keeping covenant with you the descendants of Jacob.
This left the people of Israel wondering, why then are we struggling. Why does it seem like you don’t love us and care for us?
God is about to tell them through Malachi. He tells them the reason for their poverty is,

II. The People of Israel Have Polluted God’s Altar

Listen to,
Malachi 1:6–8 ESV
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 1:6-
Do you here what God says, the reason you are still in poverty is because you have polluted my altar. In other words what God is saying is that you have failed to worship me rightly. Your heart is not right. You are not loving me the way you should, you are not loving me with all of your heart soul mind and strength.
He shows the people their lack of love is showing up in the way in which they give and offer sacrifices. Do you see how the people did this. Look at verse 8.
They offered blind sacrifices
They offered the lame in sick animals
What were the people supposed to offer God? The best! The first fruits or their flocks, they were supposed to bring the LORD that without blemish or spot, instead they were bringing God what they had left and keeping the best for themselves.
Listen to,
Malachi 1:11–14 ESV
For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
Malachi 1
God says, I am great and you are treating me like I am nothing. You snort at my name, in other words you laugh, mock, and make fun of who I am, but I am going to show you who I am.
What will the LORD do? How will the LORD fulfill his promise to His people?
Malachi 2:14

III. God’s Prophet Will Prepare the Way.

Malachi 3:1 ESV
“Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.
Malachi says, God is going to send a messenger, a prophet who will prepare the way for One who will come to fulfill a new covenant. Who would this be?
Here is something else that we must understand. Malachi was the last OT prophet and for 400 years the LORD would be silent and no longer speak to his people through these men of God! Can you imagine if you were never able to read your Bible and here and see what God said. If you were never able to come and hear your pastors preach God’s word to you? If you were cut off from the Word of God for several generations?
The good news is God did not stay silent.
If you fast forward to the gospel of Mark we read,
Mark 1:1–2 ESV
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way,
Mark 1:
John the Baptist wold be the fulfillment of this prophecy, he would be the one that would be the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He would prepare the way for the coming Messiah who would save God’s people from their sins.
Malachi continues to point toward this coming prophet in,
Malachi 4:5 ESV
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
Malachi 4:5–6 ESV
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
Jesus wold also be the fulfillment of all the OT prophets who would perfectly preach the Word of God.
He warns, look, pay attention, behold! The Lord is going to send this prophet like Elijah and he is going to warn of a great day of coming judgment. He is going to call people to repentance and faith in the One who will come to save His people.
Why did they need a prophet? They needed one who like Malachi would call them to repentance. Malachi explains even their family relationships are broken due to sin. He says this coming prophet will urge people to turn to their hearts and repent that their relationships might b restored.
One commentator writes,
Zephaniah, Haggai, Malachi How Should We Then Live?

The hearts of the children had not yet been turned toward their parents and vice versa (see Mal. 4:6). Even now, after the coming of Jesus, there are some family relationships here on earth that will not easily be transformed, not even by the words of a divinely ordained prophet. Some still wrestle with family relationships that we long to see made whole, yet remain profoundly broken. But the Lord promised a more hopeful future toward which we look with longing: a greater prophet than Elijah would come, one who would revisit the mission of Elijah of calling Israel to repentance. This prophet would not only restore earthly families to renewed relationships with one another but also turn the hearts of Israel’s rebellious children back to their true Father, God himself.

We see this prophecy fulfilled in the book of Mark as well.
Mark 1:6 ESV
Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey.
John the Baptist was the NT Elijah, he dressed like Elijah and his diet was like Elijah’s! He also preached like Elijah calling people to repent and believe.
Mark 1:6–8 ESV
Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Mark 1:
John the Baptist, the last prophet would be the one who would point to the coming Prophet, Priest, and King. John the Baptist would end the 400 years of silence by preaching the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ.
John preached of a coming Savior, his name was Jesus, he would be the incarnate God would would come in the flesh in order to save God’s people from their sins. He would come to seek and save the lost, to bring not only the lost sheep of Israel back into the fold, but also to save gentiles like you and me.
There is a day of judgment coming which Malachi warns God’s people of. John the Baptist also warns to people of this day. Our only hope of salvation in this day has come. It is our hope in Jesus Christ. He is the only One who can save us from our polluted and profane worship. He is the only One in whom we can find forgiveness in for robbing God.
This morning I want to point to to this Savior. As Malachi called the people of God to repent, and as John the Baptist pointed people to a greater Savior, I want to do the same this morning. Will you believe in Jesus this morning? Do you understand that he came to this earth, put on flesh, so that he might die for the sins of all who would repent, turn from their sin, and trust in Him for salvation. He didn't just come to preach repentance, he also came to pay the price for the sins of his people.
Will you believe in Him this morning?
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