If God did not seek us we would not find him. The initiative of grace is God's. In Eden it was God who came to visit our original ancestors and taught them the way of life, which they quickly abandoned. After years of mankind's selfish immoral living God came to Noah with a plan to cleanse the earth and begin again. God sought out Abram at Haran, calling him and his descendants to a more intimate relationship with God and a future when all the earth could know God. Through the curious twists of this world, now God approaches Moses and a people called Israel.
Exodus tells the story of Israel's beginnings and the establishment of their faith. Malachi is composed in the period of Israel's national identity as God's people. In spite of the very different time and circumstances, both texts address the same key question: What is the focus and evidence of your faith?
There is a common image, even in the modern church, that the Old Testament presents God as judgmental, wrathful, just waiting to punish us when we step out of line. The idea of grace, while appearing lovely on the written page, offers all kinds of loopholes for us to get away with almost anything.
Erase that picture of Charlton Heston standing on a mountaintop with a stone slab engraved with the Ten Commandments held high over his head. Those ten crucial laws for living are so much more than a Hollywood production. They are the foundation defining what it means to be truly human as God intended.