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Friday, December 22, 2017

Day 21: The Final Word

Today's Scripture Reading: Malachi 3-4

Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. - Malachi 3:1-2, ESV

Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. - Malachi 3:16-17, ESV

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. - Malachi 4:2, ESV

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. - Malachi 4:5-6, ESV

The Final Word

Everyone loves the Hallelujah chorus at the end of Handel's Messiah. After hours of beautiful music anticipating and celebrating the coming of Christ, the music builds to the Revelation-inspired Hallelujah chorus. As Christmas draws near, our time reflecting on Advent and the prophecies of the coming of Jesus is drawing to a close. We've spent 21 days exploring what the Old Testament prophets said about the coming of Jesus. We come today to the final chapters of the last book of the Old Testament. Like a good chorale or a great fireworks show, the Old Testament has been building anticipation and tension to prepare for the coming of Christ.

The final chapters of the last prophet of the Old Testament, Malachi 3-4, focus on the coming of the Lord with great clarity and zeal. We hear about the coming of John the Baptist:
  • "Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me." -3:1
  • "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes." - 4:5
We are also told much about the coming of Christ:
  • He is the Lord, "And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming."
  • He will redeem those who have faith and write their names in a book before the Lord (called the Lamb's Book of Life in Revelation:  The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession
  • The Coming Messiah will be the "the sun of righteousness [who] shall rise with healing in its wings"
As we look back and remember the First Advent of the Lord and we look ahead with joyful anticipation for His Second Advent, we must heed the words of Malachi and make sure we are among those who fear His name and who trust in Him. This is the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, so we need to ask Him to keep doing His work within us.

Lord, thank You for keeping every promise when You sent Your Son. He perfectly fulfilled the words of Your prophets for He is the Word incarnate. We thank You for Jesus and ask that You would strengthen our faith and give us undivided hearts to fear Your name this Christmas and always. In Jesus' name, Amen. 





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