This is a real book found in the Bible; but it’s probably not the first you‘d turn to for devotions. This book, following the ever-popular and regularly preached books of Haggai and Zechariah, is relatively unknown to most Christians except for the fact it is the last book in our Old Testament. Many might wonder what a 2,400 year old book can teach us. In Romans 15.4 Paul wrote: whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Malachi is the last of what are called the 12 Minor Prophets of the Old Testament. Prophets have a very specific role in the Old Testament. First, prophets were preachers—divine mailmen. God would reveal His Word to them and they would publicly proclaim this word to the people unedited. Typically, they were chosen to admonish, reprove, denounce sin, threaten with the terrors of judgment, and call people to repentance. This made them very unpopular. Second, prophets were watchmen—divine guards. They guarded God’s honor by warning against poor political decisions, the dangers of idolatry, false worship, and the worthlessness of religiosity. Third, prophets were also predictors—divine future-tellers. In addition to preaching and watching, prophets announced future judgments, deliverance, and foretold of the coming Messiah and His kingdom. From the prophecy of Malachi, we can we expect to hear a call to repent from our sin, a warning against our idolatry, and a promise that our savior Jesus Christ saves.