Reset. Reboot. Return.

October 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

Tonight I’m beginning a new message series from the Old Testament book of Malachi.  Tonight’s message is about the abundant love of God that surrounds us continually – though at times we may take it for granted or misinterpret our circumstances. 

Our lives are shaped by those who love us and to know God’s love is heaven on earth. When nothing else could help, God’s love lifted me and it is only the love of God that can provide the kind of stability and nourishment that your soul needs.

Here’s a brief Study Guide on the book of Malachi … 

Reset. Reboot.  Return. 

A Wednesday night UPLIFT message series from Malachi. 

 

What is the book of Malachi?  It is the last book of the Old Testament, written by a prophet whose name means “my messenger.”  It is a very short book, consisting of only four chapters and 55 total verses, of which 47 are direct quotes from God. 

Why is the message of Malachi important?  If you have ever doubted God’s love, if you have ever misunderstood God’s purposes, if you have ever grown tired of waiting for God to fulfill His promises, or if your zeal for serving God has ever grown cold – then the message of Malachi has a fresh application for you. 

What is the purpose for Malachi’s writing?  Malachi was writing to a group of believers who had started to doubt God’s love and purposes.  As a consequence, their hearts had grown cold, dull and lethargic.  Not rebellious, just ho-hum as if to say, “we don’t think God cares so why should we?”  Malachi writes to stir their hopes and hearts. He encourages, he challenges and he points forward to the coming Messiah.

At what stage of Old Testament history does Malachi write?  Malachi is one of the three post-exilic prophets, meaning that he is writing to God’s people after their exile to Babylon.  He is a contemporary of Nehemiah.  Malachi is the last prophetic voice until John the Baptist arrives on the scene some 400 years later. 

Are there any unusual features to the book?  Malachi adopts a unique style of teaching known as the didactic – dialectic method.  In this style, an assertion is made; second, an objection from the reader is raised; and third, the objection is refuted.  There are six different disputations in the book beginning with a disputation over the love of God.  “I have loved you,’ says the Lord. Yet you say, ‘In what way have you loved us?”

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