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What is the Last Book of the Old Testament?

by Louise W. Rice

Ancient prophets sent messages that are still relevant to our modern world. Malachi spoke to God’s people at a period when they had returned from refugee to their homeland in Jerusalem. They were physically home, but things weren’t yet completely restored, not to mention their hearts needed realignment.

The message and life of Malachi relate to how everyone feels a bit hopeless and falls away at times, in need of some realignment.

Who is Malachi? What is the Book of Malachi all about?

In case you didn’t know yet, Malachi was a prophet, given a message to God for His people that he sent in Jerusalem at least 450 BC. Nehemiah, sent to preserve the walls of the city, wasn’t yet governor, and the hope they lacked was mirrored in the way they’re living their lives.

The message of Malachi was intended to remind them of the love of God for them and call attention to how they should be living in retrospect of that love.

Important Things You Should Know about Malachi and His Book

Malachi was mainly anonymous

Mike Nappa teaches that the prophet Malachi is cited by name only once in the entire Bible. It was in the first line of the Old Testament book, which bears his name, Malachi 1:1. Others believe that perhaps it was not in actuality his name as the name of Malachi translates to messenger. However, a title was given to a person who wrote the prophetic book.

On top of that, there are personal details known about Malachi, the prophet, but from cultural cues of the time. It has been known that he preached that message at least 450 BC in Jerusalem. The people had finally returned from exile, but their land was still being preserved, and their faith was in shambles.

Malachi was a prophet

Did you know that Malachi is a prophet? His name means my messenger. The message God brought through him promised that the Lord would come to judge His people, but there would be one who’d come before to purify them.

That’s also a prophecy of the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. The gift of prophecy still exists now but is not equitable to the infallibility of Scripture, which is the inspired Word of God.

The Book of Malachi reaffirms that the people of God live set apart

The people of Malachi’s day were slipping away from the set-apart lifestyle God asked them to live. The NIV Study Bible explains that the theological message of the book could be summed up in a single sentence.

“The Great King (1:4) will come not only to judge the faithless people (3:1-2,5, 4:1) but also to bless and restore the faithful ones (3:6-12; 4:2).”

The guardrails of God for our lives are set in place out of His love for everyone. Through Malachi, God was also convicting His people and calling back to Himself.

Remember that the Book of Malachi talks about different sins, asking the people’s attention to their unhelpful behavior. There are other consequences for people’s sinful decisions. God is a good Father and disciplines everyone as they would their children, bringing them up in a way that enables them to be completely functioning and responsible individuals.

The desire of God for His people is to grow into a functioning faith by repenting of sin and turning back towards Him. In the modern world, people still have a hard time with similar roots of ancient sins. People need God’s forgiveness today, as much as Malachi’s live audience many thousand years ago.

The Book of Malachi is a notice of people’s high calling as members of the family of God, residing under the New Covenant, that Jesus Christ came to fulfill.

Malachi is the Old Testament’s last prophet

Malachi is considered the last prophet and the last book in the Old Testament. That solidifies the reality that Scripture is reliable, intact, complete, and final. The New Testament also verifies the Old Testament prophecies, and the New Testament prophecies will be achieved by the return of Jesus Christ.

You can depend on God’s promises as He has kept every single one thus far. Further, prophecies expressed and written by human beings are flawed. The world often erupts into disordered seasons, and when that occurs, there are droves of people who claim to understand what will happen next.

No matter what prophecies are presented today, don’t add to Scripture. They are tested by the Scripture. Remember that the Scripture is final and closed—a foundation and not a building process.

The anonymous life of Malachi proves that God will and can use anybody from any walk of life to achieve His will on the world. The love of God for everyone is unchanging. He is just and will return to justice those who have turned their back to Him.

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