While these 400 years of silence revealed no new biblical revelation, they clearly included many significant historical events. These included many changes in the rule of the land of Israel as well as the necessary preparations for the coming of Jesus Christ as the Messiah. “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.” (Galatians 4:4-5) God is always working to prepare the world for His next plan. God was silent for 400 years, but when He spoke again, it was to prepare the way for His Son, who would be His “Word made flesh.” God spoke through the prophets throughout the Old Testament. Now God speaks to us through His Son and the Holy Spirit. “Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.” (Hebrews 1:1-2)
Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets. In his book, God tells a familiar story to His people. He loved them and desired a relationship with them that required their obedience. They refused to obey, and they demonstrated irreverence by abusing the Temple and offering Him less than their best. More than this, when God pointed out Israel’s sin, they argued back that God was unjust. Maybe God was silent because He was angry because Israel was not living as they should even if He continued to send them prophets. Throughout the Old Testament, God and His people had an ongoing dialog. God told the Israelites exactly what they needed to do to please Him and maintain their relationship. The Israelites obeyed for a time, but eventually, they would start following false gods and committing other acts of disobedience. God would then send them hard times so that they would repent from their disobedience and return to Him. They obeyed for a time, but the cycle would begin again. Now, in the time of Malachi, not only were they not repenting when He pointed out their sin, but they accused Him of being the problem. Sounds like today, God blesses us and then we turn from Him and try to do it ourselves. As we have studied in Daniel, we see Jesus is coming back and we need to be ready.