October 21, 2021 – Thursday
Malachi 3:1 NIV
1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
As this is the last book of the Old Testament and there is a 400-year period of silence after Malachi before any books of the Net Testament were written. Thus there was a 400-year time lapse between the prophet Malachi and the prophet John the Baptist.
And it was John the Baptist who fulfilled the words of God through His prophet Malachi, as it was John who prepared the way for Jesus the Christ. It is Jesus who will confirm the covenant and establish a new covenant with His own blood. The same prophecy found in Malachi 3:1 may also be found in Isaiah 40:3, A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”
If we think about it, John the Baptist’s ministry did not look like what we might be looking for as he was chosen to prepare the way for the King of the universe. His unusual lifestyle and prophetic message were much different from what many of his time expected. This is also true of what many expected of Jesus, as many expected Him to overthrow their Roman overlords. Instead, He was intent on freeing them from the slavery of sin.
Notice the word suddenly, it is about the appearance of Jesus, not the appearance of John the Baptist. Looking at the 400-year gap until John appeared preparing the way for Jesus, Jesus did appear suddenly, only months behind the appearance of John.
What to make of the phrase whom you desire or in whom you delight? John MacArthur thinks this is likely sarcastic and that would not be surprising in Malachi considering their behavior. Thus, MacArthur goes further stating, These sinful people were not delighting in God then, nor would they when He came in judgment on their hypocritical worship and cleansed the temple
Especially upon His final return.
Bottom Line: The Old Testament and the New Testament truly make up one book, the Bible. Or as one elder put it to me once, “The Old Testament is the New Testament Concealed and The New Testament is the Old Testament Revealed.” Indeed.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You once again for showing how the Old and the New Testaments truly make up one book of Your word – the Bible. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton in Beavercreek