How do you read the book of Malachi? This post is written to help you follow along Victory’s current sermon series called Remember This.
Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament in our English Bibles. Written around 450-430BC, Malachi prophesied before God went off air for 400 years. We call this the intertestamental period. Intertestamental means the period of time “in between the testaments,” that is, between Old and New testaments. For a space of 400 years, there was prophetic silence in Judah. No prophet spoke or wrote books in Israel during this time. The people of God had to subsist on the written Word. It was during this 400 years that Judah got caught in the crossfires of competing world powers. After the Babylonian exile, the Persians came, then the Greeks, the Seleucids, and finally the Romans, the very people we encounter in the pages of the New Testament.
Malachi, then, stands at the crossroads of Israel’s complicated history. Before Judah got shuffled back and forth by the world’s greatest empires, the small book of Malachi came with stinging rebuke and a powerful promise that was supposed to keep the fires of hope burning in the hearts of the tiny nation of Israel during the coming dark period. In a way, Malachi was the last hurrah of the Old Testament, the last broadcast of a long line of prophetic voices before the signal died down and the station goes off air.