Malachi 3: 1—4: 6
Yesterday we left off with the indictment of the people wearing out the Lord with their words. Israel had decided that God was good with all evil deeds and they were tired of struggling to follow His commands. Today we read the Lord’s warning to them. He tells them that they will regret not following the Lord in the end. The end will start with a messenger. Guess who? JTB!! (John the Baptist.) JTB makes the way for the second messenger, Jesus. Jesus brings about the purification that Israel needs because they refuse to listen to the Lord, in His Second coming. (along with the Nations too.) We read about that process in Revelation.
The next indictments are centered around lack of trust in the Lord. If the Lord tells you to tithe and you don’t you are showing the Lord that you don’t trust Him as your Good Father and Heavenly Provider. If you look around at people who are evil but seem to be profiting and give up on God to follow them, you are showing God you don’t trust Him as Sovereign over all. Showing your trust in God is the best form of worship and what He wants from us. He is worthy and He can be trusted to take better care of us than we can for ourselves.
Fortunately for all of us, God loves us and saves us not because of our goodness but because of His. So, He will regather the Israelites and follow through on the promises He made them.
And the last words He speaks through the prophet are, “I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful Day of the Lord arrives.” Remember from the Gospels, Jesus says that JTB came in the “spirit” of Elijah, but also the disciples as Jesus if He is Elijah? I can’t tell you which one of them actually fulfills this prophecy, and the just so you know the BKC entry on this verse is like 3 pages long, so I don’t think anyone really knows definitively. My point is that this verse was fulfilled in the Gospels through the messages these men were giving. And what this drives home for us is, true to His character, God, will do something huge and shocking to get our attention before the final judgement because He really does not want anyone to perish. He will orchestrate huge visual aids, like His Son dying on a cross, to get people’s attention so they can put their faith in Him and be saved.
I hope you can sit at some point today and imagine what eternity will be like. I thought about how amazing it will be to walk down Main street and watch the river of life flowing by. No more hiding from God because of sin, we are healed and whole and can be in his presence and His light will shine on us. It is incomprehensible but my soul knows that it is true, and I want to be there. I want to be free of the curse I live under. I want to be healed by the leaves on the trees. I want to see the light coming from Jesus and know I will never have to experience night ever again. And until I get to go there, I will do what He asks of me and tell people about Him and love my people.
Be warned. Everything you have read is true. Don’t add to it, don’t leave stuff out. Do your best to be faithful to the end. He is coming soon!
Psalm 150: 1-6
Proverbs 31: 25-31
So dear reader, I pray, as we finish this book that it has taken us a year to read from cover to cover, that you have washed your robes by putting on the robes of righteousness offered by Jesus, the son of God. In Jesus you are never thirsty, and He holds out His hand to you saying, “Come, you are welcome and loved.” Amen.