I have finished reading the Old Testament with the final book of Malachi, and have some of my own words to share about God’s final words.
Before I embark on the New Testament, which gets me back to making the quilt blocks in the Bible Sampler quilt, here’s some more border pieces I’ve completed:
First of all, “Malachi” isn’t a name, it’s a word that means “My messenger”. So, an anonymous messenger delivered the last downloads from God to His chosen people: He is serious about the covenant He made. He doesn’t blur lines regarding the purity of His law. He says what He means and He means what He says. There is no such thing as “gray areas” when it comes to being part of a covenant with the Lord Almighty.
This message was timely, because the Jewish nation was getting lazy. The temple was up and running, but the priests were cutting corners and showing partiality when the Law didn’t conveniently fit their narrative. They were picking and choosing what parts they wanted to observe. The messenger warned them that the Lord Almighty will be coming, and He will be judging, and it’s not gonna be pretty.
But the message didn’t end there. There’s a shiny nugget in chapter three. “Behold, I am going to send you my messenger, who will prepare the way before Me.”
(Did this happen inside anybody else’s head? Does anyone else know the whole soundtrack by heart?)
Could this future messenger be John the Baptist? New Testament John, cousin of Jesus, who ushers in a new covenant between God and man? Chapter three goes on to say that through repentance and reformation, His people will be spared from His holy judgment. So, yes, Bingo!
So, 400 years Before Christ, even though the message is of inevitable condemnation because of the Law, God is offering hope and salvation that will come with a future messenger. Isn’t that just like Him to throw out a life line in the midst of desperate times? And because we live in 2020 A.D., having the gift of hindsight, we know how that story ends. Once again, God has strung his pearls of prophecy in perfect order, with all the puzzle pieces fitting neatly into their places.
But this message is still timely for us today. We can also prepare the way of the Lord. We have the golden opportunity to be His messengers of the good news. It’s our time to shine His light in the darkness that is certainly revealing itself in this epic year 2020.
Today is National Voter Registration Day. Are you registered to vote? This upcoming election is a golden opportunity to cast a vote, your voice, for issues of life, liberty, and justice.