The Journey - August 28, 2021

Haggai, Zechariah & Malachi

Teacher: Rebecca Murdock

These often overlooked last three books of the Old Testament merit our attention for a number of reasons. Keep these in mind as you read this week:

HAGGAI: (honeymoon phase of returning to God)

  • The joy of returning home after exile.
  • How human it is to want to build our own empires first, instead of building the kingdom of God. 
  • How quickly correction was accepted and applied, and the blessings that ensued. 
  • Hope for the future of the covenant finally working the way it was supposed to. 
  • Helpful dates included by Haggai.

ZECHARIAH: (hope for a better relationship with God)

  • Haggai and Zechariah ministering around the same time period.
  • Similar language and symbolism as that of Revelation, setting a tone.
  • Weird imagery, but pointing toward the Messiah to come.
  • Changing of high priest’s filthy clothes to that of a ruler - symbolic of God’s people if they obey Him.
  • Hope for a new international kingdom and judgment on Israel’s enemies.
  • A recommitment from God of what He will do if the Israelites are obedient. 

MALACHI: (the relationship begins to fall apart again)

  • The Israelites are again doubting God’s love and interest in them, challenging God to prove it.
  • God proves his love, but also asks “where is the honor due me?” challenging their half-hearted sacrifices.
  • A conversation with the priests, using imagery from Leviticus and Deuteronomy, about what defilement looks like through injustice.
  • A list of all the ways covenant has been broken. 
  • Some mercy offered to a small remnant who has been faithful, but an overall frustrated God bookending a testament that started so beautifully in covenant marriage and now is ending in a bitter separation. 

Listen to the book of Haggai from BibleGateway: ESV, KJV, MSG, NIV, NKJV

Short Outline of the Book of Haggai from the English Standard Version:

  • The command to rebuild the Temple (1:1-15)
  • Messages of comfort and hope (2:1-13)

Listen to the book of Zechariah from BibleGateway: ESV, KJV, MSG, NIV, NKJV

Short Outline of the Book of Zechariah from the Today's English Version:

  • Messages of warning and hope (1:1 – 8:23)
  • Judgment on Israel’s neighbors (9:1-8)
  • Future prosperity and peace (9:9 – 14:21)

Listen to the book of Malachi from BibleGateway: ESV, KJV, MSG, NIV, NKJV

Short Outline of the Book of Malachi from the Today's English Version:

  • Israel’s sins (1:1 – 2:16)
  • God’s judgment and his mercy (2:17 – 4:6)


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