The Day of Judgment
The Lord said:
1The day of judgment is certain to come. And it will be like a red-hot furnace with flames that burn up proud and sinful people, as though they were straw. Not a branch or a root will be left. I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken! 2But for you that honor my name, victory will shine like the sun with healing in its rays, and you will jump around like calves at play. 3When I come to bring justice, you will trample those who are evil, as though they were ashes under your feet. I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken!
4Don't ever forget the laws and teachings I gave my servant Moses on Mount Sinai.
5 I, the Lord, promise to send the prophet Elijah before that great and terrible day comes. 6He will lead children and parents to love each other more, so that when I come, I won't bring destruction to the land.
I think most of us will admit that at times we all need to be reminded of things. It may be something we have promised to do or an appointment we have to keep. Today’s technology provides so many ways to keep on top of things but even with all that help, some things may slip our minds.
The book of Malachi ends in similar fashion. The prophet provides his people with three reminders.
The first is that the day of judgment is certain to come. God is going to deal with his delinquent people. But for those who have remained faithful and continue to honour his name there is a joyous future.
The second reminder to them is to never forget the laws and teachings God gave to Moses. All along the failure of both the priests and the people has been not to follow what God laid out for them in the Law. Only through obedience can they experience the fullness of God’s blessing.
The third is a reminder that the day was coming when the prophet Elijah would appear. Elijah’s job was to announce the coming Messiah, the hope of all Old Testament prophecy. The Messiah brings love and reconciles families.
These reminders might be summarized into one overarching reminder, and indeed a clear choice: respond to God’s love or suffer the terrible consequences.
Walking with God is never easy, we all need encouragement to keep on the way and to maintain our commitments. God’s word is a key element in doing that, reminding us of all that God has already revealed. Let’s be a people who maintain faithfulness to a covenant-keeping God.
God, You have revealed yourself and your ways. Give us strength to follow your ways all our days, so that others might see you in us. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.