Updated: Dec 16, 2020
Malachi 3:16-4:6 (ESV)
Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. “They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”
This passage gives warning to the evil in this world. It also gives promise to those who fear the Lord. The word picture of calves leaping as they are released from the stall, sounds like the expression of JOY to me! The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings! The blessing this speaks of is quite the promise. God wants to bless His people. We just have to stay focused on Him. We can rest in His promises. He is faithful.
I love the thought of the day when we will live with Him and evil has been removed from our presence, burned like the stubble of the fields. The tempter will no longer be able to twist things to appear good when they are not.
The Lord will set up His kingdom for a thousand years, and His glory will fill the earth. Sounds marvelous to me. I can picture it. As we go about our busy days, looking for gifts, planning and preparing, focus on the Holy Family. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, fleeing to Egypt, then returning when Herod was no longer in control. The first Christmas should fill us with Joy. The promise of His return and His new kingdom sounds even better! The first Christmas had a taint of evil, because Jesus knew He was coming here to die. Herod had all the male children killed after the visit of the Magi (approx. 2 years later).
But Christmas in our hearts and the promise of God’s new kingdom, has no taint of evil. Evil will be banished. So let us rejoice in God our Savior. Let us trust in His promises. Let us look forward to the Day of the Lord.
by Virgil Stripes