1359.) Malachi 4

Mala4 flowers sky

Malachi 4  (ESV)

The Great Day of the Lord

“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.

Mala4 healing wings
Hail the heav’nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

–Charles Wesley, 1739

You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the Lord of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

The last few words of the Old Testament are a call back to the Law, because under the Old Covenant people related with God on the basis of Law. Thank God for the New Covenant — for the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ (John 1:17).

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.

It is significant that in these closing words of the Old Testament, God makes reference to both Moses and Elijah. They both met God at Mount Sinai (Exodus 3:1; 1 Kings 19:8-18). They also both met Jesus at the Mount of Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-5).

And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers,

Mala4 fathers children

. . . to their earthly fathers and, more importantly, to their Heavenly Father . . .

lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Clearly Malachi’s message says, “Unfinished.”  The rebuilding of the temple in the postexilic period did not usher in the kingdom of God. But Malachi heightened Jewish expectations by engendering a fear of judgment and a hope of healing.

Christians believe that fulfillment of these expectations comes in at least two stages:  the First Advent of Christ, providing salvation for all who believe in him; and the Second Advent, bringing the final judgment and ultimate salvation.  Malachi, like the other prophets, does not make this distinction.  Rather, he sees the near and the distant in a single view.  Further uncovering of God’s plan had to await the new revelation of God in Christ, as heralded and interpreted in the New Testament.

–from “Malachi” in Old Testament Survey, by William Sanford Lasor, David Allan Hubbard, and Frederic William Bush

The End of the Book of Malachi
and
The End of the Old Testament

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Robin Mark and “Days of Elijah.”

This song mentions Christ “shining like the sun,” as in Malachi 4:2 above. The song also says that we are the voice in the desert crying “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”  This is an obvious reference to John The Baptist, who is prophesied of in Malachi 4:5 — “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:”

_________________________

English Standard Version (ESV)   The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
Images courtesy of:
Malachi 4:2.    http://i805.photobucket.com/albums/yy331/tdhack99/christian_malachi_4_2_1.jpg
the sun of righteousness.    http://truebeautyministries.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/sun-of-righteousness-healing-in-his-wings-malachi-4-222.jpg
fathers and children.    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/fe/3d/ff/fe3dff58d6389281d8e7ed068b3a11f7.jpg
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