Unit 32: Day 3, Malachi 1–2

    “Unit 32: Day 3, Malachi 1–2,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)

    “Unit 32: Day 3,” Old Testament Study Guide

    Unit 32: Day 3

    Malachi 1–2


    Through the prophet Malachi, the Lord rebuked the Israelites for offering lame, blind, or maimed animals for their sacrifices. The priests were reproved for setting a poor example that led many people to stumble.

    Malachi 1

    The Lord rebukes the Israelites for offering polluted sacrifices

    Think about the nicest gift you have ever given to someone else. What did you hope to communicate to that person when you gave him or her the gift?

    How might you feel if you gave someone a very nice gift and you received a thoughtless response in return?

    Malachi 1 records what the Lord said to the Israelites about the offerings they presented to Him. As you study this chapter, think about the quality and sincerity of the gifts or offerings you present to the Lord.

    To understand the context for Malachi 1, it is helpful to know that Malachi ministered among the children of Israel at a time when many of them were in apostasy—meaning they had turned away from the Lord. (You may want to look for Malachi on the chart titled “The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah at a Glance” in the lesson for 1 and 2 Chronicles [Unit 21: Day 1] in this manual.)

    Read Malachi 1:1–2, looking for what the Lord said He felt for His people, who were the descendants of Jacob.

    In Malachi 1:3–5 we read that the Lord pointed out that the children of Israel had been blessed above other nations. Read Malachi 1:6–7, looking for how the Israelites had treated the Lord.

    Notice that the Israelites had dishonored the Lord and despised His name.

    Read Malachi 1:8, 13, looking for the condition of the animals the Israelites were presenting as sacrifices to the Lord.

    To help you understand how the Israelites dishonored the Lord through their sacrifices, read Leviticus 22:21–23, looking for the kinds of animal sacrifices the Lord said He would not accept from the Israelites.

    The Lord only accepted sacrifices when the animals were perfect and without blemish because they represented Jesus Christ, who was perfect (see Moses 5:6–7; 1 Peter 1:19).

    Read Malachi 1:14, looking for what the Lord said to those who had healthy animals they could have sacrificed but offered sick and wounded animals instead.

    We can learn the following principle from the Israelites’ errors: We honor and please the Lord when we give our best to Him. You may want to write this principle in the margin of your scriptures near Malachi 1:14.

    Giving our best to the Lord may include the effort we put into our offerings, the willingness with which we give our offerings, and the quality, depending on our abilities, of our offerings to the Lord. The following is a list of some opportunities you may have to give your best to the Lord:

    • Preparing a talk for a sacrament meeting

    • Engaging in personal scripture study

    • Paying tithing

    • Fulfilling callings

    • Pursuing an education

    • Fasting

    • Participating in seminary

    1. journal icon
      Review the preceding list with a friend or family member, and discuss the following questions with him or her. After you have done this, ask the friend or family member to sign your scripture study journal to show that you have completed this assignment.

      1. How might a person offer less than his or her best to the Lord in these opportunities?

      2. What are some ways people might offer their best in these opportunities?

    2. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. When have you felt that you gave your best to the Lord?

      2. How did you feel knowing you gave your best to Him?

    To help you apply what you have learned from Malachi 1, you may want to write a goal describing how you will give your best to the Lord.

    Malachi 2

    The priests are reproved for not keeping their covenants and setting a poor example

    Think of someone you know who has acted against what he or she knows to be right. What are some of the problems that may result from choosing to act against what we know to be right?

    As you study Malachi 2, look for what can happen if we choose to act against what we know to be right.

    In Malachi 2:1–3 we learn that Malachi reproved the priests of his day who were responsible for providing righteous examples to the people. He warned that if they did not hear and apply the Lord’s direction, they would bring curses instead of blessings upon themselves.

    Read Malachi 2:4–7, looking for what the Lord said He expected of the priests. (Remember that the priests in ancient Israel came from the tribe of Levi.)

    In verse 5, to fear the Lord means to honor and respect Him. The phrase “the law of truth was in his mouth” in verse 6 means a priest in that day should be honest.

    1. journal icon
      Answer the following questions in your scripture study journal:

      1. What types of behavior do you think are expected of someone who is a “messenger of the Lord” (Malachi 2:7)?

      2. What might it mean that “iniquity was not found in his lips” (Malachi 2:6)?

      3. In what ways can those who are called to represent the Lord “turn many away from their iniquity” (Malachi 2:6)?

    The priests in Malachi’s day failed to fulfill their responsibilities. Read Malachi 2:8–9, looking for the consequences of the priests’ poor example to the people. (The words contemptible and base in verse 9 indicate the priests were considered disgraceful and not worthy of respect by the people.)

    According to verse 8, how did the priests’ poor example affect the people?

    From Malachi 2:8–9 we learn that if we do not follow the Lord’s ways, then we may cause others to stumble.

    1. journal icon
      In your scripture study journal, describe two examples of how we can cause others to stumble if we do not follow the Lord’s ways.

    We can also have a positive influence on others if we choose to follow the Lord’s ways. Consider the influence you have upon your friends and their influence upon you. How might you better follow the Lord’s ways so you can affect others positively rather than negatively?

    1. journal icon
      On a piece of paper, write a goal concerning how you will set a righteous example for others. Carry the paper with you throughout the day. In your scripture study journal, write a sentence stating that you have completed this assignment. You may also want to describe what effect this assignment had on you or may have had on others.

    In Malachi 2:11–17 we read that the Lord chastised the Israelites for breaking their covenant with Him, marrying unbelievers, dealing treacherously with their wives, and claiming that those who do evil are “good in the sight of the Lord” (Malachi 2:17).

    1. journal icon
      Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

      I have studied Malachi 1–2 and completed this lesson on (date).

      Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: