THE MESSENGER OF THE COVENANT
Tuesday, 9 October 2018
Malachi 3 : 1-17
“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.” -Malachi 3:1
The Book of Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament and one of the forewarnings clearly delivered to the children of God. At the time of the prophet, the nation was facing problems; but from the prophet Malachi’s perspective, it was due to their spiritual laziness. For a child of God, the need is more for a spiritual upliftment than dealing things on the physical plain. Problems are a gateway to draw near to God and grow in spiritual maturity.
The key verse is an answer to the question put in the preceding chapter -Where is the God of judgment? (Malachi 2:17) and the verse is a fulfilled prophecy in John the Baptist and in Jesus Christ. Here we can see two messengers—one is John the Baptist – “who will prepare the way before me”; and the remaining part of the verse points to the Messenger of the Covenant- Jesus Christ.
Here it’s written that the one “whom you desire will come.” From the day God promised about the redeemer through the Scriptures the nation was eagerly waiting for Him. While they saw John the Baptist - the priests came and enquired whether he was the Messiah. John said, “I am not the Christ.” (John 1:20) After Jesus’ birth, the first time as an infant Jesus was carried to the temple, only two people understood who He was-Simeon & Anna. They had been keenly hearing from the Spirit of God and they came “…. to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Luke 2:25-38). As we read further in the gospels, no one acknowledged Him as the Messiah except a few. The messenger of covenant stood in the temple, they couldn’t recognize Him even though the prophecies about their messiah was being fulfilled in front of their eyes; yet their hearts become hardened (Luke 4:18). The long-awaited people themselves betrayed Jesus Christ and sent Him to the cross. From a normal point of view, we may feel sad, but in God’s perception and through the Scriptures we understand the mighty program of redemption of mankind and the promises of everlasting life given to the entire mankind through Jesus Christ.
The era we live in not much different from the times as we read above, and all things are examples for us and its written for our instruction (1Cor.10:11). We have in our reading today what currently happens amongst the so-called children of God: Robbing God (Mal 3:8-9), murmuring, insincerity and continued rebellion against God (Mal 3:13-14). The world is in a total chaos- a shaking up of communities, things falling apart—a lot of things people are confused about and yet many more things are yet to happen in this perishing world. But for a child of God, while passing through the tough situations in his/her life, the focus will be on the promise of God- eternity; a kingdom whose foundations can never be shaken.
We are more privileged than any other person in the Old Testament- God in His mercy sent His begotten Son to redeem us; we have the Holy Spirit who abides in us and leads us and the eternal written Word of God as a roadmap until Christ comes back. Like Simeon and Anna, let us keenly wait to hear His trumpet sound!
The Great reward for God’s own:
“They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts,
“On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them
As a man spares his own son who serves him.”
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