Malachi

Malachi

MALACHI’S NAME means ‘messenger of God’. He was the last of God’s prophets in the Old Testament, prophesying after the Jewish exile in Babylon. After his days ‘the sun went down on the prophets’ (Micah 3:6) for about 400 years—until the time of Jesus. The Message Malachi was told to remind Israel that God had been good to them, but that priests and people alike had failed (1:2). Their punishment must come and God would open His message to the Gentiles (non- Jews). A greater priest is to come—the Lord Jesus Christ, “the Messenger of the covenant” (3:1). Through him God will make a new covenant with believers, both Jews and Gentiles. Chapter 3 foretells Christ’s coming in judgement—or blessing—depending how he is received. He is to be preceded by a forerunner who will “prepare the way before Me” (3:1). When he first came, his forerunner was John the Baptist

Zephaniah

Zephaniah

ZEPHANIAH WAS a prophet of God during the reign of King Josiah over Judah, about 630 bc. Through him God warned that He would punish Israel’s neighbours for their false religion, violence and fraud (1:2–3). Judah too would be punished! Impending Judgements First, God would send the Scythians. They would attack the Philistines, Moabites, Ethiopians and Assyrians (2:4–15). Later, God would send the Babylonians against Assyria. Nineveh, its capital, would be overthrown. This was fulfilled in 612 bc. These events involving surrounding nations were to be a warning to Judah. Jerusalem itself would likewise be overthrown by the Babylonians. Some 25 years later the Babylonian attacks on Judah began. Jerusalem was finally overthrown by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 bc and many Jews were taken into captivity. Nevertheless, even in such troubled times, God promised ultimate salvation for the faithful. The Jews were to be punished by God for their rebellion against