Malachi 4:1-6; Revelation 22:8-21; Psalms 150:6; Proverbs 31:25-31
OT: ““For look, the day is coming, burning like a furnace, when all the arrogant and everyone who commits wickedness will become stubble. The coming day will consume them,” says the Lord of Armies, “not leaving them root or branches. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings, and you will go out and playfully jump like calves from the stall. You will trample the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I am preparing,” says the Lord of Armies. “Remember the instruction of Moses my servant, the statutes and ordinances I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. Look, I am going to send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise, I will come and strike the land with a curse.”” (Malachi 4:1-6 CSB)
Malachi the prophet ended his prophecy, and the Old Testament, with a warning and a promise. The day of the Lord would surely come. That day would mean disaster for the arrogant and wicked. It would also be a time of healing, victory and celebration for the righteous. A sign would be given that would mark the imminent arrival of that day of reckoning: “Elijah” would come before the day of the Lord and turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers. Malachi actually mentioned both Moses and Elijah. He called the people to remember the law of Moses or experience the fire of Elijah.
Before the Sun of Righteousness (Jesus) rose on the earth by beginning His ministry, God sent John the Baptist – a type of Elijah – to call people to repent, turn their hearts to their Heavenly Father, and prepare the way for their coming King. When Jesus was transfigured at the top of the mountain, both Moses (the representation of the Law) and Elijah (the representation of the prophets) were there. Ever since the first advent of the Sun of Righteousness – when He came with healing in His wings for the souls of mankind – the day of His second return has been imminent. All God is waiting for is the fulfillment of Christ’s great commission. In John’s vision of the end times recorded in Revelation 11, he saw at some point in the great tribulation – before the sounding of the last trumpet – two witnesses would arise and through their ministry many would return to faith in the Lord. Many believe those two witnesses to be Moses and Elijah.
Elijah has come and will come. The day of the Lord has come in part, and will surely come in full. The message that Malachi gave at the end of the Old Testament, before 400 years of prophetic silence – still rings true at the end of 2021. Remember and return to the Lord’s word, will and ways. Repent and place your faith in the Sun of Righteousness while you have the opportunity, that you won’t be subjected to the curse to come.
NT: “Then he said to me, “Don’t seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near. Let the unrighteous go on in unrighteousness; let the filthy still be filthy; let the righteous go on in righteousness; let the holy still be holy. Look, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me to repay each person according to his work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter the city by the gates. Outside are the dogs, the sorcerers, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to attest these things to you for the churches. I am the Root and descendant of David, the bright morning star.” Both the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” Let anyone who hears, say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come. Let the one who desires take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:10-17 CSB)
When God gave a vision of end times to Daniel, He told Daniel to keep the words secret and seal up the book, for the time of their fulfillment was far off (Daniel 12:4). However, after John was given a vision of the end times, he was told to keep the words open because the time of their fulfillment was near. The Greek word for ‘near’ means ready, at hand, and imminent. Christ is ready to return. He is waiting for us. He is waiting for His disciples to finish the work He gave us. Jesus then said, “Look, I am coming soon…” The word ‘look’ means to behold… to pay close attention… to fully observe and consider. Why does He want us to pay attention? Because when He comes, He is coming soon. That word ‘soon’ means quickly, suddenly and speedily. When the time arrives for Christ to return, He isn’t going to waste His time… there will be no more delay. It will happen suddenly – so we need to be ready. Those who have been washed through faith in Him will be welcomed into His life forever more. Those who rejected His gift of salvation will be cast out and eternally separated from His life to exist in eternal death.
The call to repent is still active. The invitation to share in the life of Christ is still open. Hear the Spirit and the voices of the redeemed say, “Come!” If you are thirsty for abundant life… for peace that passes all understanding… for joy that never ends, Come! Repent from your sins, place Your faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, be washed and made new in Christ, and take freely of the water of life forever more.
Psalms: “Hallelujah! Praise God in his sanctuary. Praise him in his mighty expanse. Praise him for his powerful acts; praise him for his abundant greatness. Praise him with the blast of a ram’s horn; praise him with harp and lyre. Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and flute. Praise him with resounding cymbals; praise him with clashing cymbals. Let everything that breathes praise the Lord. Hallelujah!” (Psalms 150:1-6 CSB)
What a fitting end to the book of Psalms – and a fitting way to end this year and begin the next. God is faithful to His word. He is faithful to His covenant people. He is worthy of our worship and worthy of our praise. Therefore, Hallelujah! Praise Him throughout creation for His powerful acts and His abundant greatness. Lift up the loud and raucous praise that He deserves. Let everything living that has breath to breathe praise the Lord. Hallelujah!
Prayer: Lord, I thank You that You are gracious and full of compassion. You are patient and not wanting anyone to perish. I thank You that You gave me an opportunity to repent from my sin and enter into the glorious life to come. Help me, as I end this year and begin the next, to ever be a voice of praise lifting up Your works and Your glorious gospel, that others may take advantage of the time and take freely of the waters of life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.