Who was Malachi?

MALACHI -Tenth in a series

A change occurs between verses 9 and 10 of the second chapter of Malachi. Up to verse 10 Malachi's words have been the first person singular (or trinitarian as it were) of the Lord. In verse 10 to the end of Chapter 2, he speaks as Malachi, Malachi himself.

We often see this juxtaposition in the books of prophecy. It is not a great contrast of subject matter or tone, yet it is a great difference of persons. One is the Creator, the other, the created; one is the King and Sovereign, the other, the servant and subject; one is God Almighty, the other, a human, limited in knowledge and wisdom.

God speaks through his prophets, not only in his own words, but in their words as they speak on his behalf, and not simply as he gives them utterance. This may at first sound troubling; after all, is not the whole of Scripture inspired? Are not all of its words God's words? Yes, indeed, but in the course of the narratives, we hear "Thus saith the Lord," and we also hear the messengers confirming his statements in their own words. Thus, two witnesses testify, as is required by the Law. (Deut 19:15; Mat 18:16)

Theologians note that we know nothing about Malachi, not his hometown nor parentage nor work, yet in the last eight verses of Malachi 2, we do gain a clear picture of who he was.

Malachi was an Israelite in whom there was no guile. (Ps 32:2) He was not slack in carrying out duties, nor treacherous or deceitful, and was somewhat childlike in his perceptions.

Let's consider verses 9 and 10 of Chapter 2 where the change in speakers occurs:
Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law. (vs 9)
Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers? (vs 10)

God criticizes the priests in verse 9, and his words are elaborated in Malachi's line of questions in verse 10 in which he identifies with the sinful priests, "Why do we…".

Evidently, distinctions were being drawn and favoritism shown, probably between the richer and poorer, or in other ungodly ways. Malachi does not set himself above the priests but considers that he, too, is an ungodly man.

Brothers with one Father ought to treat each other with evenness and charity in obedience to the Law; otherwise they profane God's covenant with their patriarchal fathers: If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them… I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. (Lev 26:3, 12) …and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)

No treachery allowed! We are all brothers. (Mat 23:8)

What sort of person would remind the priests that those they served were their brothers? One with a loving heart who was intent on honoring God and winning back the prodigals who were far from home.

God called and established Malachi to shine a light on sin in the community, lovingly, and to encourage revival and strengthen hearts against the Enemy's assaults as the years drew near for Messiah to come.

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