I marvel at the calves in the pasture I can see from my office window. As they frolic through the grass, their awkward spindly legs leaping and bounding with what appears to be unbridled joy, I can’t help but smile. Oh, to be so carefree!
The golden sunlit pasture with those gleeful calves is in stark contrast to my heart of late. Burdened by the darkness of this world and its hostility to the will and ways of God, brooding and begrudging, I ask, “How long, O Lord, until You return and set things right?”
This morning, the book of Malachi ministered to me in my melancholy. It’s God’s last direct message to His people before a four-hundred-year silence, the conclusion of the Old Testament written by the prophet Malachi.
God begins His message by reminding His people of His love for them (Malachi 1:1-5) but then He proceeds to confront their sins:
- contempt for God (1:6-7)
- defiling Him (1:8-14)
- corruption in the priesthood (2:1-10)
- disregarding the covenant of marriage (2:11-16)
- doubt, unbelief, and grumbling (2:17)
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? These sins are still rampant in our culture today—and sometimes even in our own hearts.
God’s message to His people in the book of Malachi continues with the promise of a messenger who would challenge them to repent. This promise was fulfilled in John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-2).
Then God promised to judge those who don’t fear Him. But there’s an exciting promise for those who do fear God—
“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture” (Malachi 4:2 NLT).
This Sun of Righteousness is Jesus Christ. One day, He’ll return and make everything right. And when He does, we’ll be like those exuberant calves, full of joy and reveling in the freedom and victory we have because of Him. What a day that will be!