29 Dec. Malachi 3:1-5,4:1-6

29 Dec. Malachi announces the ‘Day of the LORD’

“The LORD All-powerful says, ‘I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way for me. Suddenly, the LORD you are looking for will come to his Temple; the messenger of the [covenant] agreement, whom you want, will come.’

“No one can live through that time; no one can survive when he comes. He will be like a purifying fire and like laundry soap. Like someone who heats and purifies silver, he will purify the Levites and make them pure like gold and silver. Then they will bring offerings from Judah and Jerusalem, as it was in the past.”

“The LORD All-powerful says, ‘Then I will come to you and judge you, I will be quick to testify against those who take part in evil magic, adultery and lying under oath, those who cheat workers of their pay and who cheat widows and orphans, those who are unfair to foreigners, and those who do not respect me…”

“’There is a day coming that will burn like a hot furnace, and all the proud and evil people will be like straw. On that day they will be completely burned up so that not a root or branch will be left,’ says the LORD All-powerful.”

“’But for you who honour me, goodness will shine on you like the sun, with healing in its rays. You will jump around, like well-fed calves. Then you will crush the wicked like ashes under your feet on the day I will do this,’ says the LORD All-powerful.”

“’Remember the teaching of Moses my servant, those laws and rules I gave to him on Mount Sinai for all the Israelites.’”

“’But I will send you Elijah the prophet before that great and terrifying day of the LORD’s judging. Elijah will help parents love their children and children love their parents. Otherwise, I will come and put a curse on the land.’”

          (Malachi 3:1-5, 4:1-6)

 

 

The Book of Malachi was written after the re-building of the Temple was completed in 516BC. Malachi encouraged the people to renew their covenant with the one true God and to follow his teachings. He looked forward to the ‘Day of the LORD', before which God would send Elijah as a messenger to prepare the way.

At the beginning of his prophesy, Malachi reminded the people of Israel how much the LORD loved them. The LORD had blessed the descendants of Jacob (Israel), but had destroyed the land of Esau’s descendants (Edom).

Malachi then reprimanded the priests for offering 'unclean' blind and lame animals as sacrifices to the LORD: "Try giving them to your governor. Would he be pleased with you? He wouldn't accept you... Now ask God to be kind to you, but he won't accept you with such offerings." (Malachi 1:8-9)

In Chapter 2, Malachi told them that, by teaching people to do wrong, the priests had broken the covenant with the LORD. He warned the men of Jerusalem that, by marrying women who worshipped foreign gods, they too had broken the covenant with the LORD. By being unfaithful and divorcing their wives, they had angered and disappointed God (see also Ezra 9:1-10:44): "God made husbands and wives to become one body and one spirit for his purpose - so they would have children who are true to God. So be careful, and do not break your promise to the wife you married when you were young." (Malachi 2:15)

In today’s passage, Malachi spoke of the coming “Day of the LORD” - the "end of the age" when people on earth would be judged, and God would usher in a new world order.

Malachi announced that God would send a messenger to Jerusalem to announce his coming before he brought about this new ‘covenant’ (or ‘solemn agreement’) with his people. The LORD said, “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way for me. Suddenly, the Lord you are looking for will come to his Temple; the messenger of the agreement, whom you want, will come.” (Malachi 3:1)

Malachi said that, before the Day of the LORD arrived, God would send a prophet like Elijah, who would urge people to turn from their evil ways (see Malachi 4:5-6).

In the New Testament (literally, the ‘new covenant’), Matthew announced that these prophesies were fulfilled when John the Baptist arrived as this messenger – a prophet like Elijah – preparing the way for Jesus Christ who brought about the new covenant agreement with God (see Matthew 11:7-14 & 17:10-13).

The photo (by Avram Graicer) shows an aerial view of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

You can read more about God’s promise to send a prophet like Elijah to announce the coming of the LORD @ The Bible Journey | God promises to send Elijah


Printer Printable Version