Malachi 4

1 "For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze," says the LORD of hosts, "so that it will leave them neither root nor branch."

2 "But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall."

3 "You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,'' says the LORD of hosts.

Those who fear God do not have to be alarmed because God will rescue them. As Peter says, God knows how to rescue the godly (2 Pet 2:4-9).

4 "Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel."

God’s final words to the Israelites are to remember His laws. His words to us are the same – that we should remember His laws until Christ returns."

5 "Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD."

6 "He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.''

God says that He does nothing unless He first reveals it through His prophets (Amos 3:7). Verse 5 is a perfect example of this. This prophecy is with regard to the coming of John the Baptist to prepare the way for Israel by preaching repentance (Mt 17:10-13; Mk 9:11-13; Lk 1:11-17).

Why Elijah? Elijah and Enoch were the only two people that we know who were taken up before they died (Gen 5:24; Heb 11:5; 2 Ki 2:11). This may be a possible reason why Elijah was chosen to return in spirit and power – so that he could finally die naturally.

Note that between the coming of John the Baptist and the "great and terrible day of the LORD" Christ comes and dies, the Gentiles believe and are saved. This part of history is not mentioned in this book. That may be why it was so hard for the Jews to believe that Jesus had to die even though Isaiah prophesied it. That may also be why Paul says that his ministry of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles was revealed directly to him by God (Gal 1:11-12).

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