Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament in the Christian Bible yet it points beyond itself. It is not the final chapter in God’s dealing with Israel, but rather points to something yet to come.
See, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. (Malachi 4:1-2)
Malachi assumes two things. First, the future day of God’s judgment has not come yet. God is not finished with God’s creation. The second assumption is that you and I, the readers of this text, will receive mercy and healing, not burning judgment. There is hope for you in this world.
As Charles Welsey wrote in the third stanza of the Christmas carol, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, quoting Malachi 4:2.
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and Life to all he brings,
ris’n with healing in his wings.
God’s day will come with Jesus Christ. He is the true climax to the story of the Old Testament as well as our human story. Are you ready to leap?
Lord Jesus, come quickly so I can leap with joy and justice.