Daily Devotional Wednesday 8th January 2020

by William Moody

Malachi 4

The Great Day of the Lord

4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.

“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules1 that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”2


[1] 4:4 Or and just decrees
[2] 4:6 The Hebrew term rendered decree of utter destruction refers to things devoted (or set apart) to the Lord (or by the Lord) for destruction


There will be a clear distinction on the Day of the Lord between the righteous and the wicked (v1-3). The wicked will face the fire of God’s wrath (v1). The judgment on sin will be complete. For those who revere God, the Day will be like a dawning sun bringing hope and healing (v2), a day of great joy.

Jesus is wonderfully described as ‘the sun of righteousness with healing in His wings’ (v2). The picture here is the coming of Christ being like the rising sun, giving a new day, giving light, warmth and joy.

Believers suffering from the wicked are told of a great turnaround (v3). The righteous judging the wicked has New Testament echoes (see 1 Cor. 6 v1-3).

The response needed to this message and the whole prophecy is faithfulness to God’s Word (v4). The law given centuries earlier was not out of date.

To help the people remain faithful to God’s Word the promise is given of Elijah coming to turn hearts back to the Lord (v5-6). The Elijah to come was John the Baptist (Matt. 11 v13-14; Luke 1 v16-17). John’s role was to turn hearts back to God in repentance.

This is the end of the Old Testament, there would be several centuries of silence until the new Elijah would come to prepare the way for the Christ.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.