We started 4 weeks ago by suggesting that Malachi is a book of prophecy in which God is urging His people to renewal after they have been unfaithful. The book ends with the promise of fulfillment of God’s judgment and reward. The first 3 verses promise the judgment against the arrogant and evildoers and the reward of those who fear the Lord. The joy of that reward is conveyed with striking metaphors. “You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”
After a reminder to obey the law that God gave through Moses, the book closes with a prophecy that Elijah will come in preparation of the day of the Lord. Elijah was a great prophet in the history of Israel during the time of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel (see 1 Kings 17 – 2 Kings 2). Jesus told his disciples that John the Baptist was the fulfillment of this prophecy as the Elijah who proclaimed the coming of the Lord (see Matthew 11:11-14).
The last verse of Malachi is a simple promise: “he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and hearts of children to their fathers.” This enigmatic promise symbolizes how God will one day bring justice and reconciliation to the world. John the Baptist prepared the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. The coming of Christ is the beginning of how God will make all things new.
Malachi speaks the words of God to us, urging us to live God’s way and reminding us of the promise of God’s reward. In the end, we remember along with Malachi that it is God’s work in Christ which brings that reconciliation, justice and ultimately God’s joy. Thank God for His promises and how He always fulfills them. One day, God will make all things right in the world. He wants us to be a part of that starting right now.
Love in Christ,
Greg Burriss, Pastor
Rocky River Baptist Church
Siler City, NC