Today’s passage comes from the Old Testament prophet Malachi. He was a contemporary of Nehemiah who had returned to Jerusalem during the reign of King Artaxerxes of Babylon. Nehemiah and those with him found the temple in disrepair and faced major opposition as they began the restoration. Desiring to encourage His people, God gave Malachi a message of Hope to deliver in the midst of their trial. Malachi was the last prophet to speak from God for 400 years until the announcements of John, the forerunner, and Jesus, the Messiah that are recorded in the gospels.
Malachi 3:1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty. God wanted the people to be ready and watching for the forerunner that would come preparing the way for Jesus, Messiah. Luke 1:13-17 tells the story of the angel Gabriel announcing the coming of John to his father Zachariah. “But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” John’s birth and life are a direct fulfillment of this Old Testament prophecy in Malachi that was given 400 years prior.
The second line of Malachi’s prophecy is about Jesus, ‘the Lord who you seek, will come to his temple bringing a message of the covenant’. God’s covenant was recorded in Genesis 17:7 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.” This covenant or agreement with God was His promise to be their God and they would be His people. Jesus was God’s messenger of the covenant and the fulfillment of all God’s promises. He was coming in the flesh to His temple to be with His people bringing a message of love, repentance, restoration and redemption from God. John was going to come in the spirit of Elijah and prepare the way calling mankind to repent and return to God. He was to prepare the hearts of the people so they would be ready to listen to Jesus.
This was the glorious message Malachi delivered about the arrival of His messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah, their deliverer. Their long awaited Messiah would come with a message of hope and righteousness. Jesus still has that message for us today. Let this remind you of the Hope and the right standing with God that Jesus brings.
Blessings of Hope as you listen to this instrumental version,