The concluding chapter of the Old Testament is about the ultimate Day of the Lord. Concerning the coming justice of the Almighty, Malachi’s hearers were warned with images of fire. The earth will be “burning like an oven” and “all the arrogant and all evildoers” will be like “stubble” that is quickly consumed with nothing left of their earthly existence.
The cataclysmic moment for the true worshipers of Jehovah will be entirely different. The Lord said, “For you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings.” The chosen of God will be full of life and will be with the King of the Ages in His judgment against “the wicked.” Those in league with Satan will finally be under the feet of the Son of Man and His beloved people. See Genesis 3:15 and Romans 16:20.
Malachi’s proclamation of Israel’s glorious hope was immediately followed by a summons to biblical faithfulness. “Remember the Law of my servant Moses.” Faithful Jews were not to invent new commandments, but to attend carefully to the statutes that God had spoken through Moses so long ago.
Those who were dedicated to holiness were also to wait for the appearing of a second “Elijah” who would prepare his generation for the coming of the eternal King. There can be no doubt that John the Baptist ministered as this promised Elijah (Matthew 11:14). His intention was to “turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers.” He especially would call for repentance by those who needed to bow the knee to God as their heavenly Father. But because of all who rejected the Lord’s call to obedience, God would “come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
With the opening of the New Testament we hear the message of Christ and the resurrection age as the fulfillment of the words of the Old Covenant prophets. There is no plausible explanation of the mysteries of the Hebrew Bible other than the story of the love of God through the cross of His Son.
The church must preach Christ and Him crucified and nourish souls in the hope of the resurrection while there is still time for the world to repent and believe. Eventually the trumpet will sound and the dead in Christ will be raised. There will be no more sermons when Jesus returns. The final judgment that the prophet Malachi wrote about so long ago will be here. Until that last day dawns there remains an opportunity for the lost to be found and for the condemned to be saved.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
O God, the Day of Judgment is surely coming, yet the glorious sun of a resurrection world has already shined upon the souls of the redeemed. You have turned the hearts of Your beloved children back to our only Messiah. The Son of Righteousness defeated the darkness that stood against us. As the church waits for His return we have a living hope that will not disappoint. We cry out to Him in the words of Your holy ones throughout the ages, “Come soon, Lord Jesus!”