The last word of the Old Testament is ominous. Make sure it doesn't apply to you!
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Malachi 4 Summary
In the preceding chapters of Malachi, we've seen God bringing accusations against His rebellious people. So far we've seen consistency in the people's response. Not only have they been ignorant, claiming that God didn't know what He was talking about, but they responded in unison.
This short final chapter changes that, as God now addresses two types of people.
First, He calls out the arrogant and all evil doers (v1). On the day of judgment, they shall be set ablaze and nothing shall be left of them. Their fate is swift, and final.
But there's a but (v2)!
In the closing words of the Old Testament, we're introduced to a new class of people, those who fear God's name. The analogy God uses to describe them is one many of us can easily picture: that of a calf leaping from its stall (v2).
Before this can happen, a change needs to occur which is described in the final verse. The New English Translation renders it well:
He [the prophet] will encourage fathers and their children to return to me... (v6)
The very last word of not only the book of Malachi, but the entire Old Testament sums up the fate that awaits those who persist in their rebellion against God. Both the NIV and the ESV properly translate the word as destruction, but the Hebrew word literally means banned.
In other words, the Old Testament ends with a solemn warning: those who refuse to fear God will be banned from His presence, just as Adam was banned from the Garden. This is the equivalence of total destruction.
Praise God the Bible doesn't end with this word!
As we return to the New Testament next week to 1 Peter, we'll do so with a renewed sense of awe and wonder for the salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone that we'll once again read about!
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father is the Lord of Hosts who will come in blazing judgment
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God will return your heart to Him before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: