Malachi Promises Return of Elijah

ElijahIllustration:  “Scenes from the Life of Prophet Elijah”, artist unknown, 1517.  This painting is a wall painting in the Carmelite Cloister in Frankfurt, Germany.

“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.  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” (Malachi 4:2-3).

The temple rebuilt, the wall restored, the people of God had returned to Jerusalem. But they did not turn back to God. Their religious practice had become meaningless ritual, not heartfelt expression. God sent one last word to His people who continued to await victory through the promised Messiah. Malachi prophesied the “day of the Lord,” when God would judge the “evildoers” and “those who revere My name.” The one would be set on fire, and the other would find joy in salvation through the sun of righteousness.

For those who listened, that prophecy must have caused great concern, for no one among them was righteous according to God’s law. They were all evildoers! Malachi concluded his proclamation by saying that the prophet Elijah would return and lead the people to change their hearts. After that, God was silent for 400 years. He let His people remember all the promises of 4,000 years of waiting and begin to see that God is more interested in our hearts than in our actions.

Prayer: There are times Lord, when You seem silent. Awaken me to Your promises and Your Holy Spirit so my heart can hear You calling me to “prepare the way for the LORD” (Isaiah 40:3). Amen.

As We Wait: As you wait for Messiah to come, what is the attitude of your heart? Is your spiritual life a stale ritual, or a celebration of the joy of salvation?


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