Malachi Chapter 4
Malachi 4:1 “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.”
The first three verses continued the thought of the closing verses of the previous chapter, elaborating on God’s punishment of the wicked and his deliverance of the godly. This eschatological reference to the day of the Lord is injected four times into the prophet’s final words. It anticipated the return of the Lord Jesus in judgment.
Burning like an oven: Adding to the imagery of a refining fire, Malachi spoke of God’s judgment as a destructive fire that swiftly and totally consumes with excessive heat, with the proud of (3:15). The destruction of the roots, normally protected by their subsurface location, provides a vivid, proverbial picture of its totality. All who refuse to repent will be cast into the fire of hell (Rev. 20:11-15).
This is speaking of that Day of Judgment on all the earth. God is associated with fire many times.
Hebrews 12:29 “For our God [is] a consuming fire.” God judges with His fire. Sometimes, the fire is speaking from a spiritual nature, and sometimes, it is literal.
Matthew 13:30 “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
God gives everyone ample time to turn from their sin. When they do not, He destroys them.
2 Peter 3:7 “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
Malachi 4:2 “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.”
“Sun of righteousness”: While the wicked will be devoured by the heat of his wrath, those who fear him will feel his warmth with healing in his “light”. The reference is to the Messiah, “The Lord our righteousness. Healing: The reference should not be limited to the physical recovery from the harm done by the wicked. This sickness is inextricably linked with sin, with healing coming only through the suffering of the Servant.
“Like calves of the stall”. Calves, when confined to a stall for extended periods of time, leap for sheer joy when turned loose into the sunlight. The picture is one of a joyful, vigorous, and carefree life.
This is that great day of separation. This speaks of those who have put their faith and trust in Jesus, receiving their rewards. This is when the Sun of righteousness brings healing and warmth to those of His own. There will be no more sorrow. We will be filled with the Light of God at this time.
Luke 17:24 “For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one [part] under heaven, shineth unto the other [part] under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day.”
Revelation 11:18 “And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.”
Revelation 21:4 “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
Malachi 4:3 “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do [this], saith the LORD of hosts.”
Both the law and the prophets play a part in preparing for the arrival of the day of the Lord. First, the people were to remember what was given at Sinai (Horeb), the Law of Moses primarily focusing on the obligations to obedience at the time of entering into that covenant.
The wicked will be ruled over by the saints of God. Jesus will reign 1000 years upon the earth and the Christians, who had been oppressed, will reign with Him. The ashes are caused by the fire of judgment that has come upon them.
Malachi 4:4 “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, [with] the statutes and judgments.”
This reverts back to give them one more warning to keep the law of Moses, so they will not be cursed and burned by the fire of God. Those who truly knew the Old Testament the way they should have, would have known Jesus was the Messiah.
This is the very reason I stress Bible study so much. We will not be deceived by the antichrist, if we have hidden away the Words of the Bible in our hearts. Let me give the Law of Moses here.
Exodus 20:3 “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
Exodus 20:4 “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness [of any thing] that [is] in heaven above, or that [is] in the earth beneath, or that [is] in the water under the earth:”
Exodus 20:5 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me;”
Exodus 20:6 “And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.”
Exodus 20:7 “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”
Exodus 20:8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.”
Exodus 20:9 “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work:”
Exodus 20:10 “But the seventh day [is] the sabbath of the LORD thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that [is] within thy gates:”
Exodus 20:11 “For [in] six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them [is], and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.”
Exodus 20:12 “Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”
Exodus 20:13 “Thou shalt not kill.”
Exodus 20:14 “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
Exodus 20:15 “Thou shalt not steal.”
Exodus 20:16 “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
Exodus 20:17 “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that [is] thy neighbor’s.”
Let us look at what Jesus said about this.
Matthew 5:17-20 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” “For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:”
Elijah. The mention of Elijah was to announce the Messiah’s arrival. John the Baptist was a type of Elijah at Christ’s first advent. Moses and Elijah appeared together at the Mount of Transfiguration and may be the two witnesses in the great tribulation.
Most likely, this will be an Elijah like person, as John the Baptist was Elijah like. In that day, his task will be to preach reconciliation to God so that souls can believe and be spared God’s curse. He will be effective.
Some of the Bibles say, one like unto Elijah.
Matthew 11:13-14 “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” “And if ye will receive [it], this is Elias, which was for to come.”
Matthew 17:3 “And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elijah talking with him.”
Matthew 17:10-12 “And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elijah must first come?” “And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elijah truly shall first come, and restore all things.” “But I say unto you, That Elijah is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.”
Malachi 4:6 “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”
Turn … hearts. The very opposite of what occurred at Christ’s first coming anticipates a general societal repentance, so that complete destruction might be averted. The earth will be restored to Edenic wonder, the curse reversed, the kingdom established with Messiah reigning, and the righteous Jews and Gentiles entering it.
This curse is a decree of utter destruction referring to the practice of devoting things or persons irrevocably to God, often by total destruction. Cities of Canaan were put under the decree of utter destruction, and thus the people were to be exterminated. Its use here suggests that God would make a whole burnt offering of the earth if there was not a repentant remnant.
There had been a terrible time, when there was no love between parents and children. This is speaking of Elijah, as John the Baptist, when he preached repentance. Repent for the Lord is coming, was his cry.
I would like to leave you with the following Scriptures, which are my way of saying, “The Lord is coming”.
Matthew 24:27-30 “For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:” “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Malachi Chapter 4 Questions
1. Who does verse 1 say will be burned as stubble?
2. What day is this speaking of?
3. Who does 2 Peter chapter 3 verse 7 say, this terrible punishment is reserved for?
4. The Sun of righteousness rises with ___________ in his wings.
5. God shall wipe away all _________ from their eyes.
6. Who rule over the wicked?
7. Why are they as ashes?
8. What law does Malachi caution the Jews to remember?
9. Why does the author stress Bible study?
10. Read the Ten Commandments aloud.
11. Did Jesus come to destroy the law?
12. What did He come to do?
13. Who will God send before the coming of that great and dreadful day.
14. Who does Matthew chapter 11 say he was?
15. Verse 6 is speaking of whom?
16. What was the cry of John the Baptist?
17. What is the author’s way of saying, “The Lord is coming”?