1. What did Malachi prophesy concerning those that do wickedly?
“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” (Malachi 4:1).
- First, the context reveals that this day that was coming would be AFTER John the Baptizer came (Malachi 4:5). *More on verse 5 and that it is John reference there when we get to that. That day, according to verse 5, is great and dreadful [to fear; morally to revere; causatively to frighten: - affright… (Strong’s # 3372)].
- Keep in mind, prophecies of old were fulfilled before the Law passed entirely (Matthew 5:17-18). So, we cannot try to tie this to AD 70 (Matthew 23:37-24:34) or the end of the world (Matthew 24:35-25:46).
- Before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He said He brought judgment into this world (Luke 14:14-24, John 9:39, and John 12:31; cf. Luke 2:34-35). Consider John 3:19-21 in this study.
- Being left with no root or branch as it relates to Jesus has various implications (Matthew 15:1-14, Luke 3:8-9, and John 15:6).
- Being left with no root or branch (Psalms 52:1-5).
2. In that day of judgment against the wicked, what should the righteous have expected?
“(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. (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” (Malachi 4:2-3).
- Those that fear (Luke 1:50, Acts 10:34-35, and Acts 13:26).
- The Sun arising (John 8:12).
- Healing THEN physically (Luke 7:18-22; cf. John 5:36) and spiritually (I Peter 2:21-24).
- Growing up (John 15:1-5 and Ephesians 4:15).
- Ye tread down the wicked can have various meanings (Matthew 10:8, Mark 16:17, Romans 16:20, and Ephesians 6:10-17).
3. What did Malachi instruct them to remember?
The Law of Moses: “Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments” (Malachi 4:4).
- Deuteronomy 4:5-6, Numbers 15:37-41, Joshua 1:13, Psalms 103:18, Psalms 147:19-20, Psalms 119:55, Psalms 119:109, Hosea 4:1-6, Luke 24:44, John 5:39, and Acts 17:10-11
- This is even true to this day even for us who were never under that law (Romans 15:4, I Corinthians 10:1-13, and II Timothy 3:14-17).
4. Who was coming before the great and dreadful day of the Lord?
Elijah, which referred to John the Baptist (see notes): “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD” (Malachi 4:5).
- This definitely refers to John (Matthew 11:1-15, Mark 9:1-13, and Luke 1:13; 1:17).
- The great and dreadful day (see notes on vs. 1).
5. What was “Elijah” going to do?
Turn hearts: “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” (Malachi 4:6).
- He [John] shall turn hearts (Luke 1:16-17; cf. Isaiah 40:3-5 and Matthew 3:1-6).
- However, not all believed and obeyed (Matthew 21:23-32 and Luke 7:29-30).
- John “fulfilled his course” (Acts 13:24-25).
- In connection to remembering the Law of Moses and listening to John… The phrasing of turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and vice versa. In connection to Elias [Elijah], for these children of the forefathers to have the hearts of their forefathers (I Kings 18:36-40). David prayed for that long ago (I Chronicles 29:17-19).
- Think about why they and we look back to the faithful of long ago (Hebrews 11:1-40).
- Their hearts had been turned away (Isaiah 29:13 and Hosea 4:11).
- Repentance requires the right heart (II Chronicles 34:22-28, Isaiah 57:15, Jeremiah 29:10-14, and Joel 2:12-13).
© 2022 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.