Studies In Malachi By Brian A. Yeager

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).

Studies In Malachi

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Malachi 1:1-14

1. What burden is listed at the start of this book?
The burden of the word of the Lord:
“The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi” (Malachi 1:1).

  • This book was written at some time after the temple was reconstructed (cf. Malachi 3:10), but before a later destruction which historically occurred during the Grecian Empire (Daniel 8:1-11:45).
  • Outside of this mention, the phrase “the burden of the word of the Lord” is also found in Zechariah 9:1 and Zechariah 12:1.
  • Prophets saw burdens that were levied against cities and nations (Isaiah 13:1, Isaiah 15:1, Isaiah 17:1, Isaiah 19:1, Isaiah 21:1, Nahum 1:1, Habakkuk 1:1, etc.).
  • The priests will be given an ultimatum (Malachi 2:1-4). Idolaters were to be cut off (Malachi 2:11-12). God is getting tired with them (Malachi 2:17). The Lord said He would be a swift witness against the sinners of the land (Malachi 3:5). A dreadful day of the Lord was coming (Malachi 4:1; 4:5).

2. Did the Lord prefer the Edomites over the children of Israel?
“(2)  I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, (3)  And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness. (4)  Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. (5)  And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel” (Malachi 1:2-5).

  • God’s argument for the evidence of His love for Israel started with His choice regarding Jacob over Esau. Esau had the birthright, sold it through desperation (Genesis 25:29-34) and was robbed of his blessing (Genesis 27:1-46). Yet, the Lord still accepted His covenant with Jacob though Jacob robbed Esau of what was his place by birth (Genesis 32:22-32 and Genesis 35:1-15). This was God’s choice even before the birth of these two (Genesis 25:19-28).
  • See also: Romans 9:1-29
  • The argument continued by God showing the punishment He later levied towards Esau’s descendants (Jeremiah 49:17-18). The Edomites were Esau’s descendants (Genesis 36:1).
  • Though the Edomites would seek to rebuild, God said they wouldn’t (Obadiah 1:1-18).
  • God’s preferential treatment and judgment against Edom would be seen by the children of Israel (Ezekiel 39:21-22; cf. Deuteronomy 11:7).

3. Was Israel properly honoring the Lord?
“A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name” (Malachi 1:6)?

  • A son is to honor his father (Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:16, Proverbs 30:11, Proverbs 30:17, and Matthew 15:6).
  • The servant is to honor his master (I Timothy 6:1-2). The relationship even was loving in certain cases (Exodus 21:1-6).
  • God was/is the Father (Exodus 4:22-23, Deuteronomy 32:6, and Isaiah 64:8).
  • God was/is the Master (Ephesians 6:9).
  • Where is God’s honor (Revelation 4:11)?
  • The priests despised His name and played like they didn’t understand the charge (Jeremiah 23:11 and Ezekiel 22:26).
  • Vs. 7-8 continues this point to the priests

4. How did they pollute the Lord?
“(7)  Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. (8)  And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 1:7-8).

  • The priests were not holding up to their expected work (Malachi 2:7-9).
  • Instead of the holy, without blemish sacrifices God desired (Exodus 12:5, Leviticus 1:10, Leviticus 4:1-35, etc.); they were offering what God said He did not want (Leviticus 22:22-24).
  • God deserves the choice, first, and best (Proverbs 3:9).
  • Why offer to God would one would not insult men with. Though David was not authorized to build the temple, consider his right thought process (II Samuel 7:1-2; cf. Haggai 1:1-5).

5. Did God judge with respect of persons?
No, though God chose Israel more over others as the context states, the Lord would not regard persons:
“And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts” (Malachi 1:9).

  • They caused the problem (Job 4:8 and Hosea 10:13).
  • Plead with God (Joel 1:13-14 and Joel 2:17).
  • God would not judge with respect of persons (II Samuel 14:14, Romans 2:11, and I Peter 1:17).

6. Did the Lord accept offerings from their hands?
“Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand” (Malachi 1:10).

  • The ASV 1901 translates: “Oh that there were one among you that would shut the doors, that ye might not kindle fire on mine altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, saith Jehovah of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.”
  • Proverbs 15:8, Proverbs 21:27, and Isaiah 1:11-15

7. With Israel failing to properly honor God, who was God going to find His name great among?
The Gentiles; heathens:
“(11)  For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. (12)  But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible” (Malachi 1:11-12).

  • Though His name had been profaned among the heathen, God planned to change that (Ezekiel 36:21-23).
  • As this chapter concludes, the Lord’s name would be dreadful among the heathen (Malachi 1:14).

8. Was Israel excited to do sacrifices unto the Lord?
No, they were put out and snuffed at it:
“Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD” (Malachi 1:13).

  • Yes, amazingly, they were “tired” of God (Isaiah 43:22 and Micah 6:3).
  • They should have delighted in the privilege to serve our Creator (Psalms 27:4, Psalms 63:1-3, and Psalms 122:1-9). However, they did not delight in our Lord at all (Jeremiah 6:10).
  • However, as we have addressed contextually already, they brought unacceptable sacrifices (Deuteronomy 15:19-21) along with their horrible attitudes.
  • God hated such (Amos 5:21-23).

9. What was a person called when he had an acceptable sacrifice in his flock, but offered a corrupt one instead?
A deceiver:
“But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen” (Malachi 1:14).

  • Deceitful service: Psalms 101:7 and Jeremiah 48:10
  • Another key principle - the leftovers vs. the all (Luke 21:1-4).

© 2022 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.