A Message from the Lord

Kevin DeYoung

READ : Malachi 1:1

The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi. (v. 1, NIV)

My wife and I have two little boys, Ian and Jacob. Ian, the oldest, likes watching Veggie Tales. Sometimes the videos, which feature vegetables teaching morals and telling Bible stories, seem more fun than factual, but all in all we like them. One of Ian’s favorites is Jonah. In the movie, Jonah—an asparagus with a British accent—explains the prophetic vocation by singing over and over the refrain, “A message from the Lord.”

The last prophet before John the Baptist was Malachi, whose name means “my messenger.” Here’s the situation: Judah was exiled to Babylon in 587 B.C. In 539, Cyrus, King of Persia, began to send back the exiles to Canaan. By Malachi’s day (around 450 to 430 B.C.), God’s people were back in Israel and the Temple had been rebuilt. But they were poor and unhappy. They wondered, “What’s gone wrong? Why has God turned his back on us?” God reminds them through Malachi that the day of the Lord means judgment for the wicked and salvation for the righteous. What went wrong was that they were on the wrong side of that equation.

May the Lord keep us from thinking that he is the problem when we are. G. K. Chesterton once responded to the question, “What’s wrong with the world?” by stating simply, “I am.”

PRAYER

Show us our sins and forgive us, gracious and compassionate Father. Amen.