Most of life is not lived in crisis. We are not wired to deal with sustained or perpetual loss. But in a time of crisis, every word and action is significant; our relationship with God comes into focus. When we settle into “normal” times, God is so often crowded to the margins . The sharp edge of obedience is trivialized, as we become self-focused, and… worship is only a momentary diversion.
Historically the book of Malachi links to the book of Nehemiah. Under the leadership of Nehemiah the walls of Jerusalem were completed. Spiritual energy surged as the city celebrated God’s help and their renewed commitment to Him. Twelve years later Nehemiah returned to Persia, where he was appalled by the corruption and apathy of the Hebrew people who remained there. In their disobedience, their God-gifted distinctiveness was severely diminished. Nehemiah began a reform with Malachi by his side.
Malachi means “my messenger,” and he wrote about the revelation of God through His messengers.
God’s first messages are charges; he used powerful questions and repeated the cynical and skeptical questions reflected in their lives. Read them! (1:2, 6, 7; 2:13-14, 17; 3:7, 8, 13).
He then made two pleas for the people to heed the messengers sent from Him. In their past, he had sent Moses and Elijah. (4:4-6) In the future he would send John the Baptist, who would be an Elijah-like personality, and, he promised again to send the Messenger, who Himself was and is the Message. (3:1)