About this book
The book of Malachi comes from a time after many people of Judah had returned from Babylonia, but just before Ezra and Nehemiah returned. The temple had been rebuilt, and the priests were again offering the people's sacrifices to the Lord. But times were hard, and the people had lost most of their hope for a bright new future in Judah. The people and the priests were no longer showing the proper respect for the Lord or for his temple. They were also making wrong sacrifices and disobeying the laws of God. They were ill-treating the poor and powerless, and men were divorcing their wives.
Malachi challenged the people and especially the priests to be faithful to the agreement the Lord had made with Israel. They were to honour the Lord by offering the right kind of sacrifices and by giving ten per cent of their harvest to him. Then the Lord would bless them.
A quick look at this book
1. The Lord's love for Israel (1.1–5)
2. Against the priests (1.6—2.9)
3. Broken agreements (2.10–17)
4. The Lord will come (3.1–4)
5. Don't cheat God (3.5–15)
6. The Lord will reward faithful people and punish those who are evil (3.16—4.6)