Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament. It was written sometime during the fifth century before Christ.

The Temple in Jerusalem had been rebuilt, but the people had grown lax in their worship. Malachi asked the priests and the people to renew their covenant with the Lord. He pleaded for a new commitment to promise-keeping—among priests, employers, and husbands.

In short, Malachi encouraged the people to renew their commitment of loyalty to the Lord. He reminded them that eventually, the Lord would come and judge His people. Those who had rejected Him would be burned like stubble. Those who had accepted Him would experience freedom, peace, and happiness.

The book of Malachi closes with this encouraging prediction: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:5, 6).

Four hundred and fifty years later, Jesus Himself applied these words to the mission of John the Baptist. (See Matthew 17:11.)