Malachi outline for studying
DATE: c. 435-430 BC
I. Introduction (1:1)
II. Blindness to the love of God (1:2-5)
A. God’s love seen by His dealings with Esau (1:3-4)
B. God’s love seen by contrasting Esau’s destiny with Israel’s (1:5)
III. Disservice to the Great King (1:6-2:9)
A. Exposure of the priests’ failure to give proper honor to the name of God (1:6-14)
B. Indictment of the priests for their unfaithfulness to the covenant of Levi (2:1-9)
1. Penalty for failing to hear this commandment of the Lord (2:1-4)
2. The covenant with Levi that they had broken (2:5-9)
IV. Unfaithfulness in human (marriage) covenants (2:10-16)
A. The indictment: unfaithfulness to the covenant (2:10-11)
B. The consequences: sacrifice rejected (2:12-13)
C. Israel’s protest and God’s reply: Divorce, which God hates, is a breach of covenant (2:14-16)
V. Criticism of God’s justice (2:17-3:6)
A. Israel’s words: God’s justice is inconsistent (2:17)
B. God’s answer: Wait for God’s justice which will be revealed at the coming of His Messenger (3:1-5)
C. God’s character: Israel’s preservation is due to God’s unchanging character (3:6)
VI. Disobedience to the Lord’s statutes (as evidenced by Israel’s lack of giving) (3:7-12)
A. The root problem is a failure to return to the Lord and to obey His commandments (3:7)
B. The issue of tithing is cited as one example of their disobedience (3:8-12)
VII. Unbelief in the value of serving God (3:13-4:3)
A. Israel’s words: Serving God is not worthwhile (3:13-15)
B. Yahweh’s words: He remembers those who fear Him (3:16-18)
C. The coming Day: God will distinguish those who fear Him from the evildoers (4:1-3)
VIII. Conclusion (4:4-6)
A. Remember the Law of Moses (4:4)
B. Look for the Messenger (4:5-6)
MALACHI’S MAJOR MOTIF
“AUTOPSY OF DEAD RELIGION”
I. Foundationally, one of the causes or characteristics of dead religion is blindness to God’s love (1:2-5).
II. “Insincere worship” (1:6-2:9).
A. Blemished sacrifices (1:6-14)
B. Blighted religious leaders (who had failed to fulfill their ministerial obligations) (2:1-9)
III. Unfaithfulness in human (marriage) covenants (2:10-16).
IV. Criticism of God and His ways (2:17-3:6).
V. Disobedience to the revealed will of God (3:7-12).
VI. Unbelief in the value of serving God (3:13-4:3).
ANTIDOTE TO DEAD RELIGION
I. Fear (honor) God.
II. Prepare to meet the coming Messenger (in the Day of the Lord).
 Malachi uses the Persian word for governor (1:8), suggesting that his ministry falls during the interlude between Nehemiah’s first and second governorship (ca. 435-430).
 Michael P. V. Barrett, “The Message of Malachi: An Analysis of Dead Religion,” in Biblical Viewpoint (Nov 1998), 34. Barrett notes, “Malachi meticulously examines, exposes, and identifies the causes and signs of dead religion and spiritual decay. With a series of six cutting propositions, he penetrated to the core issues that marked Israel’s religion” (p. 34).
 Malachi begins his book with this oracle, suggesting that it is the “footing” upon which the rest of the book builds.
 Barrett, 35.
 Note the emphasis on the word messenger (1:1—Malachi!; 2:7; 3:1; 4:5).