Malachi Three

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Malachi 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

my messenger. This prophecy is quoted in Matthew 11:10; Mark 1:2; and Luke 7:27, as fulfilled in John the Baptist, over four hundred years later. John did, indeed, “prepare the way” for Christ with his preaching. In fact, some (possibly all) of Christ's disciples were also John's disciples first. A similar prophecy had previously been given by Isaiah (Isaiah 40:3-4).

come to his temple. The fact that the Lord would come to His temple (fulfilled when Christ cleansed the temple—John 2:13-16) is a clear revelation that Christ is God. This is also indicated by the fact that the Lord, who was speaking through Malachi, said that John would “prepare the way before me.”

messenger. It is interesting that Malachi, whose name means “my messenger,” speaks three times of God's “messenger” (Malachi 2:7; 3:1; 3:1). Once he speaks of God's priest, then of John the forerunner, last of Christ Himself.

Malachi 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap:

day of his coming. The sudden coming of the Lord Jesus to cleanse His temple was a precursive type of His future coming to cleanse the world.

fullers' soap. A chemical solution used in bleaching cloth along with stomping or beating.

Malachi 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

Malachi 3:4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

Malachi 3:5 And I will come near to you to judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Malachi 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

tithes and offerings. This rebuke suggests that Malachi's prophecies were given during the days of Nehemiah's second stay in Jerusalem (Nehemiah 13:10-12).

Malachi 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

into the storehouse. This verse, the text for innumerable stewardship sermons, actually applies in context only to the one treasury in the one house of God in Jerusalem. The New Testament contains many references to our stewardship responsibilities, involving more than mere tithing, but contains no references to this passage. The principle, of course, always applies. God's people have the responsibility to support the work of God, rather than to heap luxuries on themselves (Haggai 1:4-11; 2 Corinthians 8:6-13; etc.).

Malachi 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

Malachi 3:13 Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

Malachi 3:14 Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?

Malachi 3:15 And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.

Malachi 3:16 Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

book of remembrance. In heaven God keeps records of not just the actions of His people but even of their thoughts! This verse indicates His particular pleasure when His people truly fear the Lord and He occupies both their conversations and their inward thoughts, even (perhaps especially) when most of their contemporaries ignore or reject Him.

Malachi 3:17 And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

my jewels. The word translated “jewels” only this once is translated “peculiar treasure” three other times. The connotation is that of no ordinary jewels, but of certain very special treasures. To God, those who fear Him, and think on His name, and often speak to one another about Him, are very special people, as dear to Him as a faithful only son of a loving father.

Malachi 3:18 Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.