Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Key Bible Verse: “Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives.” (Malachi 4:5)
Dig Deeper: Malachi 3:16-4:6
The book of Malachi ends with a charge to God’s people to repent and turn back to the Lord. The people agreed to repent, but then they did not turn their hearts back to the Lord. Unfortunately, because of the lack of repentance, God went silent for four hundred years — that’s multiple generations without a prophet to speak, multiple generations without men of God proclaiming his greatness, multiple generations where there was no vision for the people. And we see a great example of the fact that when relationship and communication with God ceases, religious legalism emerges.
During the time of silence the people started to create their own laws. In Matthew, the Pharisees and Sadducees appear, and then the Maccabees and the Zealots. We see all these religious groups coming together and trying to work their way up to God. Their mind-set is, “If God isn’t going to raise up a leader, we will do it ourselves.” But God raises up John the Baptist to call the religious back to the Father. And can you guess what John’s message is?
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2, emphasis added).
God is calling his people to wake up out of their narcoleptic state, and he is calling them to repent because the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
– Dhati Lewis in Among Wolves
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