Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lesson - Malachi

VERSES:   Malachi 1:1-4:6

MEMORY VERSE:   Malachi 3:8   "Will a man rob God?..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review all 66 books of the Bible, reciting out loud as a class.

PRAYER:   Thank God for His many blessings like the Bible, rain, food, clothing, a home, people who love us and take care of us.

SPECIAL SONG:  The Family In God's Plan (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog. Click on orange button to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:  Large Activity (see below) or write on chalkboard or whiteboard.

  • Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament. The name, Malachi means "My Messenger." Other than his name, we know nothing of Malachi, his family or his background. Comparing the many chapters written in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, Malachi was considered a minor prophet due to his writing only four chapters in his book. Malachi is the last Old Testament prophet until John, the baptizer. In fact, Malachi foretold the coming of John in his book. The book of Malachi is written in a "teaching conversation" style where God has a conversation with Israel. 
  • We have studied many lessons about the disobedience of God's people. By the time Malachi wrote his book, they were even more disobedient. One huge problem was the priests. The priests should have known God's instructions on how God wanted the people to obey and behave, but the priests were disrespectful and disobedient as well. Priests were to know the law and teach the people. The priests were the messengers of God's law. In Malachi's time, the priests were not doing their jobs.The priests were a stumbling block to the people. 
    • We have learned that sacrifices to God were not to have any blemishes, they were to be the best of the best, yet the priests were offering polluted or imperfect sacrifices to God and God was not pleased. 
    • They were honoring disobedient people instead of telling them of their wrongs.
  • The people of Judah were robbing God by withholding their money. 
  • The men of Judah were divorcing their wives and marrying women from other nations. Malachi tells them that God has always hated divorce. Malachi explained that God has intended that a man should have one wife for life and they were to raise godly children.
  • Malachi said that God would bring judgment on those that practiced sorcery and witchcraft, those who were unfaithful to their wives, those who told lies, those who were unkind to the widows and orphans, and those who did not honor Him. All of these things are still true today. God turns his back on those who practice evil deeds like those.
  • But, God would spare the remnant, the people who still loved God and obeyed Him. He would take care of them as long as they obeyed Him. He will do the same for us today.
  • After Malachi was written, there were no prophets of God until John, the baptizer.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Sometimes the word "hated" only means "loved less." In Malachi 1:2, 3, it says that God "loved Jacob and hated Esau." Discuss how God loved Jacob. Esau gave up his birthright for a bowl of food. Did Esau treasure important gifts that were given by God? (See April - Lesson - Jacob and Esau on this blog).
  • Edom refers to Esau and his descendants.
  • "Putting away" means divorce.
ACTIVITY:   Malachi
Materials needed: 12" x 18" sheet of light colored construction paper, markers.

  1. Hand out paper.
  2. Fold paper in thirds, lengthwise.
  3. Unfold paper. 
  4. Fold two sections in half, trying not to fold the top section.
  5. Fold each half of those two bottom sections in thirds, so, in the end, there is one unfolded section and a total of twelve boxes on the bottom two sections(see picture.
  6. Trace on lines.
  7. In unfolded top section, write "MALACHI" and "At the end of the Old Testament, God's people still had trouble obeying God. Their sins were growing. A few of their problems were:" and "Malachi 1:1-4:6."
  8. Number all the boxes, but the last one. (1-11)
  9. BOX #1: Write "priests."
  10. BOX #2: Write "sacrifices."
  11. BOX #3: Write "robbing God $."
  12. BOX #4: Write "men divorcing wives."
  13. BOX #5: Write "sorcery and witchcraft."
  14. BOX #6: Write "unfaithfulness in marriages."
  15. BOX #7: Write "lies."
  16. BOX #8: Write "unkind to widows and orphans."
  17. BOX #9: Write "intermarriages to other nations."
  18. BOX #10: Write "honored disobedient people."
  19. BOX #11: Write "did not fear or honor God."
  20. In the last box, write "No more prophets until John."