By Mike Chaffin
“Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:4-6
The last words in Malachi are the last words in the Old Testament. It would be four hundred years before God would send John the Baptist to prophesy Jesus was coming. These were extremely important words for the Jews to learn and remember since they were the last recorded words of God they had received.
We learned in earlier last words about laws, statutes, and judgements. God expected His people to continue to adhere to the Ten Commandments and the laws of society. The judgements are listed in Deuteronomy as a warning for those who don’t adhere to the law. Jesus reiterated the importance of the law in Matthew 5:18,
For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
God tells his people Elijah will come before the Lord’s return. Jesus said Elijah had come, as John the Baptist. He states in Matthew 11:13-14,
For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. And if you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come.
In the book of Revelation we are told two witnesses will come to proclaim Jesus’s immediate return. Most interpret this passage that one of them is Elijah.
The final verse is a promise and a warning. Jesus’s first coming is a blessing. He came to save us from our sins. Fathers tell their children the good news of the gospel and they are saved. When one generation fails to pass on the good news to their children that will be a sign the end is near. Tribulation won’t be far behind. The earth will be nearly destroyed. Then Jesus comes to rule and restore those faithful to Him. Those who aren’t His faithful followers are cursed with eternal death.
So much is packed into these last words of the Old Testament. God knew it would be a long time before Jesus came to sacrifice himself. He desires people stay strong and be ready.
Jesus gives us a similar warning in Mark 13:32-33, 37,
But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. 37 And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
What makes the last words of the Old Testament so important is Jesus spoke to each and every one of them. He was telling the hearers, “I am is here and I will return.” Those are last words we all need to hear and live out.
Prayer: Lord thank you that you love us so much that you have revealed your plan to us throughout the Old and New Testaments. You made a way for our salvation. Lord, I need you every day so I can heed Jesus’s plea to stay ready for His return. In Jesus name, amen.