NextLevel Online: Malachi
by Mike Ackerman
The first session gives an overview of the book of Malachi, which literally means “my messenger”. After the people of Israel had returned to the land from their captivity in Babylon; they settled in, rebuilt the temple, and got on with “normal” life again. Unfortunately, they very quickly strayed from some key elements of God’s instructions. This book is God’s message of correction and a promise to call them back to faithfulness.
God’s specific corrections to his people begin in this section. The core principle is that they are not giving God their best as a sincere expression of devotion to him. God has given us his best in Christ. Let us give him our best in grateful response.
This section addresses a specific group of leaders among the people of Israel: the priests. This reminds us that when leaders fail, people get hurt. Now Jesus, our perfect high priest, has enabled us to be a new priesthood, to serve him, to help and not hurt the cause of Christ in the world.
In the fourth session, we learn about love for people as an expression of love for God. Jesus is God’s concrete expression of love for us, the perfect model for how we should love each other.
In this section, the people of God are said to be considering whether obedience to God is worth it or not. But God says that obedience to him will always go better for us in the end. Ultimately belief in God takes tangible form in obedience to God.
In this section, a future age is described as the dawn of a new day. The accent in this section, and every section of the Bible that alludes to the end of time, is on God’s people doing God’s work until he brings about his redemptive plan.