Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,
says Yahweh of Hosts. Zechariah 4:6
Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors,
That the King of Glory may come in! Who is this King of Glory?
Yahweh of Hosts: He is the King of Glory. Psalm 24:9-10
Background Note: Malachi is the third and last of the post-exilic prophets. Whereas Haggai and Zechariah prophesied during the days of Zerubbabel (520-518 B.C.), Malachi prophesied considerably later (c. 435 B.C.) during the days of Nehemiah when the Jewish nation had again become plagued with corrupt priests, wicked practices, and a false sense of security in their privileged relationship with God. Notice also how the book of Malachi is structured: it is a continuous discourse. It consists of an eight-fold controversy between the Lord and his people Israel. In each case, they are accused of sin by the Lord and then in question form brazenly ask for explanations and evidences of these charges.
Malachi uses a question and answer method when prophesying to Israel. Yahweh says, "I have loved you." The people ask, "How have you loved us?" What is Yahweh's answer?
God's answer referred to in the previous question was quoted by Paul in his letter to the Romans, and it is fundamental in his argument for election. Where is God's answer quoted in Romans?
Yahweh says, "You offer defiled food on my altar," offerings they would not think of presenting to their earthly governor. Describe these animals offered for sacrifice.
Malachi has a message for the wicked priests: Yahweh has made them contemptible and base before all the people. Why has he done this?
The men of Judah had taken foreign wives, divorcing the wives of their youth. How does Yahweh feel about divorce?
We saw how God feels about divorce in the previous question. Why does he feel that way?
Malachi in 2:17 accuses the people of "wearying" the Lord by their skeptical question, "Where is the God of justice?" What is God's answer?
How many characters are referred to in Malachi 3:1?
"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty.
In chapter 3 verses 2-6 of Malachi we are told that the sons of Levi will be purified and the offerings of Jerusalem and Judah will once again please Yahweh. He will also judge sorcerers, adulterers, and other types of sinners. In this way, the sons of Jacob will not be destroyed. What reason does Yahweh give for this mercy?
God accused Israel of "robbing" him. Following the pattern in the book of Malachi, the people respond, "How have we robbed God?" What is the answer to this question?
Yahweh then challenges the people to a test. What would be the result if they were obedient in giving?
The people spoke some harsh words against Yahweh. What were they saying?
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