SFI Seminar 2016/2
The Book of Malachi
Date : 9.30am- 2.30pm, Saturday 24 September 2016
Place : Berea, Holy Light Church (English),
Jalan Gertak Merah, 80100 Johor Baru
The prophet Malachi lived and ministered around 450 BC, a time which we commonly call the post-exilic period. the people of God had been exiled for 50 years (587-538 BC) in Babylon. When Cyrus, the new king of the Persian empire, issued an imperial edict in 539 BC to allow all conquered peoples to return to their homelands, the people of God came back and formed the Persian province of Yehud. The broken Temple was rebuilt from 520-515 BC under the ministry of Haggai and Zechariah. The two prophets spoke of a coming glorious period for the Jewish people where God will re-establish the Davidic kingship through Zerubabbel, the Jewish governor, and the wealth of the nations will pour into the new Jewish kingdom.
About 60 years down the road, these prophecies did not materialize and the passing of time began to crush their hopes. Despondency, despair, dejection, hypocrisy and careless attitude began to creep into the lives of the people at every level from leaders to priests to the common people. The story of the Jewish people would have ended if not for the coming of the minor prophet Malachi. His passionate proclamations and the significance of what he had to say to his people still captures our attention today. Malachi engaged his people through the use of the rhetorical form called disputation and pre-empties their arguments and refutations.
What is this urgent message of Malachi and how can it be significant and relevant to our times? Through 3 short sessions, we will cover the historical background of the book, the 6 disputations used by Malachi against his people, and draw out the book’s implications for today.
Rev Dr Anthony Loke is an ordained minister with the Trinity Annual Conference of the Methodist Church in Malaysia as well as an Old Testament lecturer in Seminari Theoloji Malaysia. He was previously the Dean of Studies (2013-14). His current interests include studying the Old Testament, writing articles and books, speaking about the political and social contexts of Malaysia, and being a vocal advocate against injustice and oppression. He is married to King Lang, who is currently working in a private Christian school in KL. She holds a MTh (SEAGST) and is currently studying for the MEd (OUM). They have two grown-up children.