Malachi 1:4: Messiah Presented and the Test Failed

Malachi 1:4  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 10
In due season, the hour of the New Testament arrives, and we find the same before us, just as Malachi had promised us it should be. Messiah, the Lord of the temple, appears, introduced by John Baptist, the messenger of Malachi 3:11Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. (Malachi 3:1), and the Elias (if the people would receive him) of Malachi 4:55Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: (Malachi 4:5). The series of tests which have been made from the day of the Exodus to the day of the returned captives is resumed now. Messiah is offered, (“If ye will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come,” are words which clearly tell us, that the ministry of the Baptist of Christ was a testing time.) and He presents Himself, in full and varied forms, to the acceptance of Israel. And, at last, the Spirit is given, and apostles full of the Holy Spirit call on Israel to repent and believe, and thus enter the times of refreshing and restitution promised and spoken of by all the prophets. These are the brightest, richest, visitations: the last, yet the best; the closing, yet the most promising; but, like all the rest, they fail. Israel is not gathered. In Egypt, in the wilderness, and in the land; as a pilgrim-people, or as captives; as a nation, or as a kingdom; as presented with Messiah and His works, or as visited by the Spirit and His virtues—still, from first to last, under all the patient exercise of this long-suffering, grace, and wisdom, they are untrue still. “They always resist the Holy Ghost,” as one inspired voice says of them. “They fill up the measure of their sins always,” as another inspired voice pronounces against them.
The nation had been preserved, as we saw, and kept in their own land until the king, the house of David, was set up—and now they are restored to their own land, and kept there until Messiah appear and offered Himself to them. “The rod of the tribe of Judah is preserved, in order that the Branch of the root Jesse may be presented.”
At the opening of the gospels we find passages from Malachi quoted, as belonging to that moment of the evangelists. The close of the Old thus links itself with the opening of the New Testament, and these connections, simple, and striking, and self-widening as they are, illustrate the unity of the divine volume. They display something of the moral glory of the Book, and let us learn, what we learn from another and a more direct witness, that is, from a passage in the Book itself, that, “known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:1818Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world. (Acts 15:18)).