Verse by verse, together we dig in to Malachi 4…

Hear the audio of Bible Study from this past weekend…

Bible Study Notes (9 December 2018)

From Malachi 4:

1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.

1.) Who are these people? How does one know an evildoer?

2.) “The Day is coming” says the prophet. What is “the Day” like? What happens then to evildoers?

3.) Three words describe the evildoers following the Day. They are “stubble,” left neither “root” nor “branch.”

2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.

4.) Here the prophet identifies a second distinct group. Who are these people? How are they recognized?

5.) Rather than meet “the Day” like a blazing, hot oven, how does the second group experience it–what happens for them?

6.) The prophet promises joy to his hearers. How does it look?

3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

7.) The deliverance promised for the second group concludes with a focus on their feet. What has become of the evildoers?

8.) Has the second group accomplished this victory by their own efforts? Who alone deserves the credit?

4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

9.) Does the prophet commend only mental recollection, or is there more to this Remembrance?

10.) “Horeb” is another Biblical name for “Mount Sinai.” What happened to Moses there? Who is this Law/Torah for?

5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.

11.) Malachi was placed at the end of the collection of Scripture we call the “Old Testament.” Other books were written by God’s people before New Testament times. These are commonly called ‘The Apocrypha’ and included the books of Maccabees, Esdras, Bel and the Dragon, etc. Martin Luther published and included these books in his German translation of the Bible. Earliest English translations–even the King James Version–included them also. While these were writings of devout people, they were not received or regarded with the same revered status as the inspired, revealed Word of God–neither by the Jewish people, nor by the Reformers. How did Elijah’s life end? (2 Kings 2:9-12)

Verses 5 and 6 were viewed as the last prophetic Word God’s people received for some 400+ years, until John the Baptizer. See Matthew 11:11-15 and Matthew 17:9-13 (Transfiguration).

6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

12.) Read Luke 1:8-19, taking special note of Verse 17. Malachi 4:6 urges much more than good parenting, but to preparing hearts for Christ!

13.) Who makes this connection between John the Baptist and Elijah here in Luke 1:19?

14.) Malachi prophesied in the time of Ezra’s effort to rebuild the temple after the Babylonian exiles returned, and Nehemiah’s labors to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Approx. 450-400BC). The ESV uses six words (“with a decree of utter destruction“) to translate the last word of the Old Testament (חֵֽרֶם), ‘curse.’ What’s the last word of the New Testament (Rev. 22:21)?

From The Lutheran Witness, June 2016:

“It seems like a rather simplistic idea, but the numbers bear it out. A recent study conducted by the European Union concluded, “The religious practices of the father . . . above all, determines the future attendance or absence from church of the children.”[1] {Haug & Warner study from Switzerland, dated 2000}

Unsurprisingly, the study found that if father and mother are active, 75 percent of their children will remain in the church (33 percent will attend regularly, 42 percent irregularly). If neither attends regularly, 80 percent will be lost.

The results get interesting when only one parent is active. When the father is active and the mother irregular, the percentage of children becoming regular attendees actually increases to 38 percent. If the mother is non-practicing, the number of regular attendees reaches 44 percent. Even an irregular father paired with a non-practicing mother results in 48 percent of the children remaining in the church (25 percent regular and 23 percent irregular).

But what happens when the mother is a faithful attendee but the father is not? Bar the doors, because in that case only 2–3 percent of the children will become regular attendees. When paired with an irregular father, another 59 percent of the children will become irregular attendees and 38 percent will be lost. If the father is non-practicing, 38 percent will become irregulars but the reaming 60 percent will leave the church completely.

Put simply, if the father does not make taking his children to church a priority, only one child in 50 will regularly attend church as an adult, despite the mother’s best efforts.”

—quote from Lutheran Witness, June 18, 2016 “Dads Being Dads” by Joe Olson

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