Note, verse 5, Coming near for judgment
The Lord does not come near because He can't see from heaven but to convince us that He sees or as a symbol of conviction. He is also seen near those He punishes, as in our verse. Consider these times: the flood , the tower of Babel, Sodom, the exodus, in Babylon, preadvent judgment by the Mighty Angel. Before blessing or punishing in judgment. The Lord comes near – He makes a point of examining the cases to be dealt with.
Note, verse 6, The sons of Jacob
Notice that the focus has shifted from Levi to Jacob (Levi's father). The promises and warnings are not just for priests (spiritual leaders) but for all who are the true people of God 2:12, ga0326ff. We also remember that the literal sons of Joseph had changed their characters before they went to Egypt to get grain, and they were tested or judged and found to be righteous. See ge4430.
Note, verse 14, Attitude in worship Click balls for links
Malachi describes those who are weary of being mournful and who are proud. I've heard comments about some Christians acting like donkeys because they have long faces. We have good reason to rejoice in the abundant grace provided for us, Phil. 4:4. However, this does not mean that church becomes entertainment. Words or songs of praise without sincere godliness is arrogance. In view of the judgment, we need to humble our hearts before the awesome God of the universe, 2 Chron. 7:14. In humility we sigh and cry for the abominations done in the land (among the professed people of God). At the end, the popular religion will claim that angels, miracles, and God are with them as they try to force their ideas on everyone, Rev. 13:13. As verse 15 above says, they will seem to be the successful ones. But, in verse 18, it becomes clear who is serving God and who is not.
Note, verse 16, Witnessing
The literal translation by Green reads "Then those fearing Jehovah spoke together, [each] man to his neighbor." This may more accurately show the intent of the text. Elsewhere in the Bible we find that those prepared for the coming of the Lord help give the final call to come out of spiritual Babylon. See re1801ff, is6001ff.
Note, verse 17, The judgment described
The special days of the sanctuary calendar began in the fall with Passover which clearly pictures the escape from Egypt when the destroying angel passed over the homes with blood on the doorposts, Ex. 12. That escape is our freedom from sin realized in the blood of the Christ of Calvary two thousand years ago. The next special day was Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was given. It is seen also at Sinai. So we continue following the plan for our salvation in the sanctuary in three parallel lines: (1) the special days through the sanctuary calendar, (2) the experience of going from Egypt to a home in Canaan, and (3) the reality they both represent moving from sin to salvation – from this world to heaven. The 7th and last feast is the feast of tabernacles. It represents our home in the heavenly Canaan. Just before it is the day of atonement – a time of judgment where earth's final generation is cleansed in preparation for the release of the four winds or time of trouble, Rev. 7:2