The Message of Malachi: Spiritual Indifference

The Message of Malachi: Spiritual IndifferenceText: Malachi 1:10

In this series, we are going to do an overview of the Minor Prophets. The goal is to (1) understand the overall theme of each book and (2) see what lessons there are for us. In this lesson, we are going to see what we can learn from the book of Malachi.

Historical Context

  • No time indicated in the text – also no mention of coming judgment, captivity, return, rebuilding, etc.; this would suggest that it was written after all of these things; offerings are being made (1:7-10)
  • Malachi probably lived about 100 years after Haggai and Zechariah (Halley’s Bible Handbook) – possibly written 70 years after the exiles returned (Jack P. Lewis)
  • Right before the intertestamental period – there would be no divine revelation; waiting for the Messiah; at a time like this, we might expect the people to become lax; this is what Malachi addressed

Overall Theme: Spiritual Indifference

  • We began the Minor Prophets by looking at Hosea – the theme was spiritual harlotry; they had mixed idolatry with their worship to God; this was not the problem Malachi was addressing
  • They worshiped God; but instead of mixing it with idolatry, they were mixing it with indifference – making offerings to God that they would not even offer to their governor (1:6-8)
  • By withholding the offerings/service that God deserved/instructed, they were robbing God (3:8)

Main Points

  • They questioned God’s love for them (1:2) – He had proven His love (1:2-3); their history/preservation proved this; God does not change (3:6), so His love for them would remain
  • They were unfaithful in their worship – in offerings (1:7-8, 10-13) and in tithes (3:8-10); so God did not accept their offerings (2:13); this was because of their attitude toward God (1:6); same attitude was seen in them dealing treacherously with their brethren (2:10) and their wives (2:14-16)
  • A book of remembrance would be written (3:16-18) – for God to distinguish between the righteous and the wicked; He would judge and either reward them or punish them
  • The promise of the messenger to prepare the way of the Lord (3:1; 4:5-6) – prophecy of John the Baptist (Matthew 11:7, 10, 14; Luke 1:13-17); his role was to prepare the way for Christ

Lessons for Us

  • We must never question God’s love for us (1 John 4:8-10; Romans 5:8) – shown in the blessings He gives us in this life (James 1:17); shown in the spiritual blessings we have in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-7)
  • We must worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:24) – worship as He has instructed (Colossians 3:17); worship with the recognition that God is worthy of our worship (Revelation 4:11; 5:12)
  • We need to make sure our name is written in God’s book, the book of life (Revelation 20:12-15) – otherwise, we will not see heaven (Revelation 21:27); we must wash our robes / do His commandments (Revelation 22:14)


  • Malachi shows us that we cannot half-heartedly serve the Lord – we must be wholly devoted to Him
  • He has shown us His great love for us – we need to respond by honoring and obeying Him

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