Malachi 4 continues the message begun in previous chapters of Malachi. The people have returned from captivity, and the problem of idol worship that has plagued them ever since the time of their deliverance from Egypt in the Exodus appears now to be under control. But they are spiritually bankrupt. Even their priests are rebuked for offering sacrifices of diseased animals (Malachi 1:1-2:3). The “day of the Lord” is coming – a theme repeated in the books of the prophets, which always refers to a time when God will take some sort of decisive action – as he did with the destruction and captivity previously. But this time, the action will be glorious for the righteous (verse 2). In verses 5-6, as previously stated in Malachi 3:1, He will send a prophet to prepare the way for the Messiah. That prophet will be John the Baptist, and is confirmed by Jesus in Mark 9:11-13 and in Matthew 11:10-14.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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