3:1-6 – An answer to Malachi 2:17: “The God of justice” is coming Himself!
His messenger (John the Baptist) would first come to prepare the way (cf. Malachi 4:5-6; Isaiah 40:3-5; Matthew 3:3; 11:10, 14; 17:12-13; Mark 1:3; Luke 1:17; 3:4; John 1:23)
The divine Christ would then arrive as “the Messenger of the covenant”
God’s justice starts with those in charge, then against the wicked
3:7-12 – Will a man rob God?
“God is never satisfied with a partial, or incomplete, service” (Guy N. Woods)
He challenges them to follow Him fully, and He would bless them beyond measure
3:13-15 – “Your words have been harsh against Me”
They questioned His moral government among men
Israel was shortsighted, looking only at the rewards of this life
3:16-18 – There was a remnant of “those who feared the Lord”
Contrast verse 9, “this whole nation,” with verse 17, “shall be Mine”
Each individual must decide into which category he wishes to be placed, and live accordingly
Review and thought questions
1. Considering all the accusations being brought against Israel, how do you think they would have responded to the message that God was coming?
2. In what ways might Christians “rob God” today?
3. Should we expect recognition for doing the right thing in this life? What does Christ say about doing charitable deeds, or praying, or fasting, in order to be seen by men? Read Matthew 6:1, 5, 16.
4. What are some things upon which the people of God should meditate? Read Psalm 1:1-2; Malachi 3:16; Philippians 4:8-9.