November 20: Malachi the Prophet
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story takes us to the last book of the Old Testament, the Book of Malachi. After living as prisoners in Babylon for many years, God’s people had returned to Judah—their promised land. They had worked hard and overcome opposition to rebuild the temple and the walls around Jerusalem. Surely God would restore them … finally! But nothing happened. As they waited, they faced drought and economic uncertainty. God’s people probably didn’t feel like God had blessed them at all.
“It is useless to serve God,” they said. “What have we gained by keeping His requirements?” (Mal. 3:14). Did God still care? It wasn’t long until they fell back into the same patterns of sin that led to their exile in the first place: idolatry, covetousness, hypocrisy, arrogance, and abuse of the poor. But God did still love His people. He had been working out His divine plan of redemption, and He never gave up on them. God sent a message to His people through the prophet Malachi.
Malachi spoke to God’s people approximately 100 years after the end of the Babylonian captivity. Malachi’s message from God was a wake-up call. The people’s lack of blessing didn’t mean that God didn’t care: God exposed His people’s sin and made clear that their actions merited a punishment. God’s people needed to repent and turn back to God. “But for you who fear My name,” God said, “the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings” (Mal. 4:2).
Four hundred years of silence followed Malachi’s prophecy; God did not communicate to His people. Malachi was a messenger—a prophet—who told God’s people to repent. Malachi also told about another messenger God would send. This messenger, John the Baptist, would break the silence. John would call people to repent and get them ready for a final Messenger, Jesus Christ. Jesus would bring good news of salvation.
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