Today’s text exposes the attitude behind many people and their cultures that except immorality, oppression and sin. In the verses (2:10-16) leading up to Malachi’s statement in 2:17 God
accuses the people of profaning the covenant, committing an abomination and profaning the sanctuary. God also says the people are faithless, hypocritical in worship, faithless to their
wives and violent. Malachi exposed the reason for this behavior occurring in Jerusalem and
Judah around 500 BC when he told the people, “You have wearied the Lord with your words.”
The people’s words exposed the attitude of their hearts. This attitude had allowed them to quickly
slip back into sin after having returned from captivity only 30-40 years before.
The people had come to accept the false philosophy and erroneous theology that God does not
get involved in human activity or intervene in history by doing something as simplistic as blessing
the obedient and punishing the wicked. The people actually believed that the theology concerning
the justice of God was mere rhetoric for synagogue class or Torah studies. The people had
concluded that God is pleased to bless those who do evil as well as those who are righteous,
if God is even active in blessing people at all.
God responded with a pronouncement when the people asked, “Where is the God of justice?”
God said, “Suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple.” This concept lines up
with Peter’s words in Second Peter 3:9:
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he
is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
The Lord says through Malachi, “I will send my messenger (John the Baptist), who will prepare
the way before me (Matthew 3:3). Then suddenly the Lord (Jesus Christ) you are seeking
(the people of Malachi’s day were longing for the Lord to get involved) will come to his temple
(30 AD, Matthew 21:12 when Jesus cleared the Temple courts); the messenger of the covenant,
who you desire, will come. “
But, when the Lord, the messenger of the covenant came in 30 AD to his temple like the people wanted, they were not pleased with him. The justice they were seeking came exactly 40 years
later, when in 70 AD the Lord’s judgment brought Rome against them to destroy the city and the Temple. It is best to always figure into your equations and decisions the justice of God.