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Malachi and the Fatherless: Malachi 3:1-6
Finally, we come to the climax of the book. The hook that keeps you waiting for the next installment: The promise of the Messiah and the one who will go before Him to prepare the way.
"Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me [John the Baptist]: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple [Jesus], even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts." (3:1)
Israel has been waiting for this very thing, but God warns them that the coming of the Messiah is not all fun and deliverance. With it come purification and judgment. God says,
"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like a fuller's soap...I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against false swearers, and against those that oppress the hireling in his wages, the widow, and the fatherless, and that turn aside the stranger from his right, and fear not me, saith the Lord of hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed." (3:5,6)
God reveals so much about Himself in these verses. He makes His judgment very plain. He makes it clear that He does not change. But, He also emphasizes His mercy.
Once again, the Lord is reiterating how He feels about oppression. Once again He includes the fatherless. Once again He reveals that this oppression is rooted in not fearing Him. What isn't a repeat is the unique transition that is being made here. It is transitioning us from the Old Testament period into the New. This is very important, because the New Testament is not as openly vocal about the fatherless. This makes it plain that God's heart in the area – even over the span of four hundred years – would not be changing.
Have our hearts followed His?
"Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy." Hosea 14:3
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