Tuesday, September 30, 2008

An End and a Beginning

September 30: Malachi 1-4

1 “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. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 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.

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

5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
Malachi 4:1-6

An End and a Beginning

Our reading today marks an end that points to a new beginning. Malachi pronounces the final warnings against His unfaithful people who, among other things, brought the sick and lame animals for sacrificing to the Lord instead of the best of their flock.

Malachi 4 pronounces a final curse against those who do not fear the Lord and an encouragement to those who remained faithful to the Lord. To the evil He states,

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.

But to the righteous He promises,

The sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. 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.

How often have we seen this same contrast in the books of the prophets: cursing against the wicked and promises of rest for the righteous? Yet, Malachi ends with one more important promise.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

So, the Old Testament ends much like it began, with a promise of the Messiah. He was first foretold in Genesis 3:15, and here He is promised in the last two verses of Malachi.

As you go about the duties of this day, think about an end and a beginning. This same Messiah promised in Malachi 6:5-6 is offered to this day as our Redeemer. He alone can give us an end to a life of wickedness and the beginning of a new life of salvation through Him. Go to Christ--He will save you now!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

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