Today is Day 71 in our journey through the Bible in 90 days.
Well, here it is. The last of the Old Testament blog posts. In just a few short days, I’ll post my first of 27 New Testament blogs! Can’t wait! What a journey this has been and still is. We’re about 2 1/2 weeks away from reading through (and blogging through) the entire Bible.
Malachi closes out the Old Testament…and no, he was not an Italian prophet (Muh-law-chee). Malachi ministered around the time of Nehemiah, as the city’s walls were being rebuilt. Although Nehemiah is a powerful, uplifting, faith-boosting book, Malachi has a much different tone. Throughout the book, God points out the areas where His priests and His people have backslidden, compromised, and in some cases, given up. The book is an unfortunate revelation that although God provided for and protected His people for so long, and even punished them in exile to get their attention, they hadn’t made much progress – if any.
Not only does Malachi point out the sins of the priests and the people, but also the fact that God has blessings in store for those who choose righteousness. Although they’ve messed up, God still loves them and wants to bless them. Sound familiar? It should: it’s the story of all of Scripture – the Gospel!
Before we get to the blessing, however, let’s talk of about the bummer…
If your Bible is like mine (if you still read the actual pages of a Bible, not just a screen), the page immediately following the book of Malachi might look something like the picture below.
Whenever I come to this blank page in my Bible, I’m reminded of one thing. Although God has given us His written Word and loves to have an ongoing relationship with us, if we refuse it, He won’t push His way in. He’ll quietly let us do our thing.
If I ever want to shut God up (which of course, I don’t), all I need to do is go about my own business. He’ll punish me (like He did for years with Israel), He’ll send warnings (like He did), and it will sadden Him, but He will eventually stop talking.
Compromise and complacency is what leads to a blank page. Although sometimes we think that’s what we want, in reality, it’s not. God’s ways are always best. Listen up and ACT!
Malachi is a sad way to end the Old Testament…and yet, there’s light ahead.
Not only does Malachi serve as the cap on the last 1500 years of Israel’s history, but it also serves as the connection between the Old Testament and the New Testament. There are a few quick flashes of Messianic prophecy that highlight the coming of the Messiah…
“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 3:1
“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.” – Malachi 4:2
Although God’s people have lived for years in complacency and rebellion, God remains faithful. The best is yet to come!