Wow! What a journey it has been walking with the Minor Prophets. I hope that during our study you have grown in your understanding of the history of the waywardness of God’s people and the faithfulness of God to those same people.
This week we will take a look at Malachi, the last of the Old Testament prophets. There has been some debate throughout the years about who wrote Malachi. Some see the word, “Malachi” as a title. In Hebrew, “Malachi,” means “messenger of God.” The folks who understand “Malachi” to be a title believe that Ezra wrote this little book of prophecy. There are others who believe “Malachi” is a personal name, the name of the prophet. There was a Catholic priest many years ago named Vitringa who provided pretty convincing proof that “Malachi” is not a title, but the name of the prophet used by God to call His people back to faithfulness.
Malachi prophesied during the times of Ezra and Nehemiah; after the temple had been rebuilt. This time period, about 458-433 B.C., places Malachi in Jerusalem about 100 years after Haggai and Zechariah. When you read Malachi with the understanding that he ministered 100 years after the Jews had been freed from their captivity in Babylon you realize that nothing had changed. The people were still hard-hearted towards God, if not more hard-hearted than they were in Zechariah and Haggai’s day. It is not that the people were atheists. They would never have described themselves that way. They were very religious people, but religious practice was not what God desired from His people. Continue reading “The Refiner’s Fire