Do you ever feel that you are just going through the motions of being a Christian? Have you ever had the experience that being a follower of Jesus is a bit drab and colourless? Or worse still, do you ever feel discouraged, disheartened or disillusioned despite being one of the Lord’s people? Well then maybe our new series on the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, is for you.
“Malachi” means ‘my messenger’ [or possibily, ‘messenger of the Lord’] The idea of being a messenger of the Lord is a key one running through this little book of prophecy [1:1; 2:7; 3:1]. Being a contemporary of Ezra and Nehemiah, Malachi speaks to God’s people about 100 years after they had returned from exile in Babylon [that’s why, along with Haggai and Zechariah, he is called a “Post-Exilic Prophet”].
The excitement of rebuilding the Temple [see Haggai] and anticipation of a greater future linked to the coming of The Messiah [see Zechariah] had died down. Life had settled down into a rather dull routine. Maybe there wasn’t the same depths of false belief or blatant idolatry as in earlier times of Israel’s [God’s covenant people] history, but there was a deadness about their spiritual life. One commentator [Bible study writer] has summarised the situation in Malachi’s day as one in which Israel was guilty of ‘Losing Touch with the Living God’ [John Benton]. Does this describe your spiritual state with God? Are you going through the motions in your relationship with the Lord Jesus? Well then, maybe Malachi is the book for you.
“Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord” (Rom. 12:11),