God’s Word of Joy
Malachi 4:1-6: The Day of the LORD is described; evildoers will be punished and those who obey the LORD will be saved. Before that day, the prophet Elijah will appear. According to 2 Kings 2:11, Elijah did not die but was taken up to heaven by a whirlwind. Centuries later it was believed that Elijah would return to prepare believers for the Day of Judgment or for the coming of the Messiah. In Christian tradition, John the Baptist is compared to Elijah (see Luke 1:17).
The Day of the Lord Is Coming
1The Lord Almighty says, “The day is coming when all proud and evil people will burn like straw. On that day they will burn up, and there will be nothing left of them. 2But for you who obey me, my saving power will rise on you like the sun and bring healing like the sun’s rays. You will be as free and happy as calves let out of a stall. 3On the day when I act, you will overcome the wicked, and they will be like dust under your feet.
4“Remember the teachings of my servant Moses, the laws and commands which I gave him at Mount Sinai for all the people of Israel to obey.
5 “But before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes, I will send you the prophet Elijah. 6He will bring fathers and children together again; otherwise I would have to come and destroy your country.”
Today’s Key Verse: Malachi 4:2a
For you who obey me, my saving power will rise on you like the sun and bring healing like the sun’s rays.
The Day of the LORD or Day of Judgment is often described as a time when the LORD will punish evildoers with fire (see Joel 2:1-3). How does Malachi describe that day? What does verse 2 say about those who obey the LORD? Why is it important to remember the teachings of Moses (verse 4)? This final chapter in Malachi concludes the Old Testament. Does this passage of Scripture offer hope? Why or why not?
Lord God, I thank and praise you for your saving power. Fill my mind with your teachings; restore me, heal me, and draw me close to you. Amen.
Mark 1:1-13: John the Baptist preaches in the desert.