Summary: Malachi - The Final Prophet (part 9) Godly Insight for Today & Malachi 3:17-4:6
✎ Once upon a time there were two young men who were good friends and successful entrepreneur. By the way, not all stories that begin with “once upon a time” are make believe. Walt, who was anxious to show off his new idea, drove his new convertible over to pick up Art. The two drove forty-five minutes outside their southern-California city. Walt parked the car in an orange grove and said, “Get out of the car; I want you to see this.”
“See what?” Art replied . “All I see are some orange trees.”
“No, no, no! I don’t see orange trees,” Walt said shaking his head. “ I see a family fun park. Art, I want you in with me on the ground floor of this thing. We’re going to build a family fun park here. People will bring their families and have picnics and enjoy rides and have a great time”
Art couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “Who in the world would drive 45 miles out into the country for a family fun park?”
Walt continued to try to convince his friend to join him as a partner, but Art adamantly refused to invest any money in Walt’s hair-brain idea. Art focused his attention to his successful radio show “Art Linkletter’s House Party.” What would you have done if you were in Art’s shoes? Some of you have figured out who Walt is haven’t you?
Meanwhile, Art’s friend Walt Disney went ahead and bought the orange grove and turned it into Disneyland; maybe you have heard of the place? Later Art Linkletter admitted, “If only I’d seen what Walt had seen; I’d have put my money into that investment and I would be a wealthy man today.
Someone has said, “Hindsight is 20-20.” How many investors would have pulled their money out of the dot.com market, if they had only seen it’s downfall before it happened? If you could know what stocks were going to yield big dividends and which ones were going to hit rock bottom over the next year you could make a lot of money (and if you know, please share your secret with the rest of us too!).
How would you live your life differently today if you knew what would happen tomorrow? Imagine what it would be like to never be caught off guard by the unexpected.
God knows what tomorrow holds. The future never catches God by surprise; God does not wring his hands saying, “Oh if only I saw that coming.” God know what’s coming tomorrow, but He also holds the future in His hands. God is in control; nothing can or will ever happen without His knowledge and approval!
We have spent the last 8 weeks looking at the prophet Malachi, the Final Prophet. Malachi offers us Godly insight for today. This morning we’re going to look at “Preparing for The Day of Christ’s Return.” God wants us to be prepared for Christ’s return! The Old Testament ends with an important reminder from God; the best is yet to come!
+ Read: Malachi 3:17 – 4:6
One phrase is repeated five times in the final eight verses of Malachi: the day. This day is the focus of this passage. It is
● the day God acts on behalf His treasured possession.
● the day coming that will burn like a furnace.
● the day coming to set the proud and wicked on fire.
● the day when God will act.
● the great and dreadful day of the Lord.
Malachi’s message was to prepare God’s people for the coming of the Messiah. The people of Malachi’s time understood “the day” to refer to what we know as Christ’s first coming; the day we celebrate as Christmas, yet Malachi sees Jesus’ birth and beyond seeing Christ’s second coming.
“The Day” which Malachi writes about is still to come. We are looking forward to the great and glorious day when Jesus returns to take us to be with Him.
The interpretation of “the day” referring to Christ’s first coming and the second coming is not a double interpretation; rather it is a successive fulfillment. In other words; Jesus’ first coming prepares the way for the day of His second coming.
The Hebrew verb “bā’” translated “coming” is an active verb; God has set the coming of the day in motion. God is not sitting in heaven doing nothing just waiting for the day to arrive. God is active in the coming of the day; He controls the future and is dynamically involved in making the day a reality; the day is coming!
Let’s try a simple illustration to better understand the successive fulfillment for the coming of the day.
✎ Imagine you have moved to a beautiful beach front home on the Pacific coast (we’re using our imagination, so you may as well have your dream house). The movers have just left and you are faced with the daunting task of getting settled in. That’s when the phone rings. I call and say, “Hey, I’m coming to see you and your new home.” Just what you wanted was company right? Well you want to make a good impression so you try to organize a few boxes, but you’re tired from the big move and you fall asleep. Morning comes and you realize you must have missed me. The phone rings again; its me “I’m on the way, and will be there soon.” Click. Again you start unpacking boxes to make some sense of things; you wouldn’t want me to see your house so disorganized. The day comes and goes, but I never arrive. Morning again comes and I call again, “Hey I’m on the way over; I’ll see you soon.” You think to yourself, “Right that’s what you told me before,” but you tell me you’re looking forward to seeing me. Again you work on getting more boxes unpacked and things put away. This continues for a week. On the eighth morning I call again; by now you’ve stopped using your alarm clock because I’m calling you every morning. Again I tell you, “I’m on my way over to your new house; I can’t wait to see you. I’ll be there soon!” You’re thinking “yea, and Christmas is coming too!” Today you decide that everything in the house is finally put away and you’re not going to just sit around and wait for me to come. You’ve been waiting for me to come for a week and I haven’t showed up yet; today you’re going to finally go out and enjoy the beach. As the sun sets into the Pacific you walk back up to your house and find a note taped to the door. It says, “Drove eight days to get here, but you weren’t home. Sorry I missed you! Pastor.”