When looking at the literary structure for this section of Malachi, we see that this section of the book is a response to the people’s perspective about God found in 2:17. The questions of the people found at the end of chapter two ultimately point to a misrepresentation of God that He seeks to correct in chapter three. They dishonor God and then challenge Him to substantiate how they have done so. They believe God has become someone who loves evildoers. They question whether He is truly a God of justice. It is in this context that God makes this announcement.
He responds by declaring that He is sending a messenger to address this misrepresentation of His character. Though not explicitly stated, it is clear that the messenger is coming to remove any notion that the people’s perspective is true. All throughout history, people have developed misconceptions about who God is. God has always responded in a way that challenges any notion of unresponsiveness or nonexistence. Primarily, God has done this by providing a prophetic figure, a messenger, who points the people to an accurate picture of who God is. The messenger’s identity in this verse can be interpreted in two ways: a human messenger or a divine messenger.
While scholars may argue about which perspective is right in regard to this passage, there is a more universal truth we must grasp. Jesus was the human and divine messenger sent by God to announce the inbreaking of a new covenant. This covenant, in which we now delight, was purchased by His blood. Through Jesus, we now understand the heart of the Father in a profound way.