Malachi 3-4

Malachi 3‑4  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Malachi 3-4
The Lord, continuing His controversy with the evil estate of Israel, here lets them know, that of a truth the Lord of the temple would come and His messenger before Him; but that such a mission would turn out to be a very different thing from what they expected. They thought, to be sure, that it would be in their favor, that it would flatter and accredit them, set them up, and be deliverance and glory to them. They sought it— delighted themselves in the prospect of it (Mal. 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)). But the prophet would have them undeceive themselves, and learn that in judgment this mission would be; necessarily so, because of their evil condition. And the present question with them should therefore be, who will abide this coming of the Lord? Not, as it were, who will tell its glories and its blessings, as they might have thought, but, who will abide the searching process that will attend it?
Still there was patience in God thus insulted. Had not this been so, had he not been God and not man, Israel would have been already consumed. But even now, they might prove that He would bless them beyond all expected measures, if they would but be obedient.
In the midst of all this national iniquity, the remnant are manifested. The Lord declares that He has them and their ways in His remembrance now, and will have them as his displayed jewels by and by, in that day when there shall be to some a sun with healing in his rays, to others a sun to burn up as an oven-like the two in the bed, at the mill, or in the field, of which the Lord Himself speaks in the Gospels.
The prophet then closes by addressing this remnant with advice and promises; and as the Old Testament thus closes, so does the New open; for, at the very beginning of Luke, we see this remnant, in the persons of Zechariah and Elizabeth, following this advice of Malachi, obedient to the law of Moses, with its statutes and judgments; and we see them also receiving the Elijah in the person of their child John, according to the promise of Malachi.
The remnant, let me add, are not promised present deliverance from the Gentile power, but they are taught to hold by the word, to expect the judgment of the wicked and a new state of things in due time. Our epistles, in like manner, do not promise us a recovery of church beauty, but teach us to look for a new and better thing, and the coming of the Lord will find us as the epistles leave us—just as the first coming of the Lord found Malachi’s remnant as Malachi had left them.