Malachi’s message was not popular in his day and neither is it heeded in our time. I wish I had preached on Malachi when I was active. We have gone soft on sin and hard on God and that is the direct opposite of the oracle Malachi had to deliver. The prophet’s name itself means “my messenger” or “my mouthpiece.” The Lord wants mouthpieces and not explainers, interpreters, translators, and others. God wants us to read His Word and draw our own conclusions. This journey is one that everyone must take alone.
What bothered the Lord about His people? They were no longer living like God’s chosen people. They had developed the idea that they were loved by God, in spite of what they had become. Conveniently, they pointed at Esau’s descendants as being subjects of hatred. In reality, Jacob’s children with blemished sacrifices and disloyalty to God outdid Esau’s children. It is God that accused the priests of falsifying His message and the chosen people of robbing Him of His portion of their prosperity. Particularly, men who were deserting their wives and families were distasteful to God (Malachi 2:16).
Malachi 3:1-5 and 4:1-6 has been taken to announce the arrival of John the Baptist as the way-maker for the Messiah (Matthew 11:10-15). There is a second historical occurrence. It regards a day of judgment for Judah and Jerusalem. Malachi was an Elijah or the final and last prophet sent to change a people that faced doom because of their transgressions. The people went into Babylonian captivity for their sins and Jerusalem was destroyed by fire. It was a day of judgment. The destruction was like hell on earth (Jeremiah 52).
There is also a message for posterity. Every preacher that is faithful and true to the message of Christ is an Elijah or a Malachi. It is the preacher’s duty to prepare his flock to face Jesus, the Judge. And the preacher shall be held accountable for their sins (Ezra 3:16-21). There is no salvation for those that refuse to repent (Hebrews 10:26-27). And there is no other name in the world given but Jesus by whom we can be saved (Acts 4:12).