We are going to embark on a journey through the Book of Malachi.
David was the first king to plan a temple to worship God in Jerusalem.
His son Solomon later fulfilled this plan and oversaw construction of the temple.
Tabernacle became a Temple.
First Temple in Jerusalem was built in 960 BC by Solomon
But people of Israel drifted away from the Living God – priests offered unworthy sacrifices – Their kings did everything evil in the sight of God.
God was no longer present in His House (Ezra 8-10)
God used a pagan King to destroy HIS Temple and made the people slaves again.
King Nebuchadnezzar took many Jews captive and exiled them to Babylon (2 Chro 36)
First Temple was destroyed in 586 BC – Nebuchadnezzar
During his regime Cyrus decreed and initiated the Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1-6).
Only during Darius rule the construction was completed in 515 under Zerubbabel’s leadership.
The Second Temple during 536 BC-516 – Zerubbabel
3 times the exiles returned to their homeland in different time periods: 539-29 – 458-57 – 445-44.
During the last 2 phases we see two Minor Prophets ministered Israel – Ezra & Nehemiah.
Scholars of the opinion that Prophet Malachi was a contemporary of Ezra & Nehemiah
Things were falling apart in Jerusalem during Nehemiah time as Governor – had to take very serious steps to reform the nation and build its walls.
Ezra challenged the people to revive their fear of God and separate themselves from foreign influences (Neh 9-10)
Around the time of Nehemiah, God’s people divorced their wives and re-married pagans – priests failed to teach the people to reverence God – many stopped honoring God and wondered was there any use to believe in God.
Malachi challenged them to revere and fear God.
I. GOD’S LOVE FOR ISRAEL (2)
God clearly declares that HE loved the people of Israel surely and definitely.
God’s electing grace is in display – HE loved some more than others – no one can understand.
In Deuteronomy 7:6-9 we can how God loved Israel more than others.
II. GOD’S DISLIKE FOR ESAU (3 & 4)
God’s love for Jacob was so great in comparison to Esau it looks like hate.
Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah and it looked like hate.
Lord Jesus demanded the disciple to love Him more than their own families and it looked like hate.
Our love for Christ also looks like we hate our own families.
Esau missed God’s blessings because he lost his birth right to his younger brother Jacob.
Not only missed father’s blessings, Esau lost the covenant relationship with God.
So also all his descendants lost God’s covenant relationship and blessings..
During Babylonian invasion Edomites also suffered greatly in the hands of Babylonians.
Edomites thought that they can re-build their nation by their own strength.
Their belief system and faith practices put Edomites under constant wrath of God.
God declared their land as waste and Wicked Land.
III. GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY (5)
Malachi says that all nations witnessed the mighty power of God of Israel inside the territory.
God exercised His Sovereign power not only on Israel territory but also other nations.
God is great because He is God over all creation and in control of all nations.
Malachi is simply reminding the people of Israel that HE is not just your God but He is God over all nations beyond their borders.