Better Things Ahead

Laura N. Sweet

Read: Malachi 3:16-4:6

They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession. (v. 17)

As we turn to the last book of the Old Testament, we discover that, despite prophecies and punishments, the nation of Israel still has a contentious relationship with God. Much of Malachi lays out God’s criticisms of the people: their worthless offerings, their broken marriage covenants, and their neglect of tithing. Many of the Jews are resentful and petty; their worship is mere performance—and not from the heart.

But this is not true of all the people. God knows his own—the people who love and fear him. He hears their prayers and puts their names in his “book of remembrance.” When the day of the Lord appears, these believers will be his own “treasured possession” (3:17). The wicked will be punished, but these beloved children will be spared.

Malachi finishes with a glimpse of better things to come for God’s people. The “sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings” (4:2) is the promise of the Messiah, foretold throughout the Old Testament. “Elijah the prophet” (v. 5) is also coming to turn the hearts of Israel before the Messiah appears.

Of course, the New Testament begins with the ministry of John the Baptist and the birth of Jesus. Those better things are ours—the people of the new covenant! May we rejoice that we are part of his treasured possession! —Laura N. Sweet

As you pray, thank God for remembering his people and his promises to them.