Malachi 4

* The judgements on the wicked, and the happiness of the

righteous. (1-3) Regard to be had to the law; John the Baptist

promised as the forerunner of Messiah. (4-6)

1-3 Here is a reference to the first and to the second coming

of Christ: God has fixed the day of both. Those who do wickedly,

who do not fear God's anger, shall feel it. It is certainly to

be applied to the day of judgment, when Christ shall be revealed

in flaming fire; to execute judgment on the proud, and all that

do wickedly. In both, Christ is a rejoicing Light to those who

serve him faithfully. By the Sun of Righteousness we understand

Jesus Christ. Through him believers are justified and

sanctified, and so are brought to see light. His influences

render the sinner holy, joyful, and fruitful. It is applicable

to the graces and comforts of the Holy Spirit, brought into the

souls of men. Christ gave the Spirit to those who are his, to

shine in their hearts, and to be a Comforter to them, a Sun and

a Shield. That day which to the wicked will burn as an oven,

will to the righteous be bright as the morning; it is what they

wait for, more than those that wait for the morning. Christ came

as the Sun, to bring, not only light to a dark world, but health

to a distempered world. Souls shall increase in knowledge and

spiritual strength. Their growth is as that of calves of the

stall, not as the flower of the field, which is slender and

weak, and soon withers. The saints' triumphs are all owing to

God's victories; it is not they that do this, but God who does

it for them. Behold another day is coming, far more dreadful to

all that work wickedness than any which is gone before. How

great then the happiness of the believer, when he goes from the

darkness and misery of this world, to rejoice in the Lord for

evermore!
4-6 Here is a solemn conclusion, not only of this prophecy, but

of the Old Testament. Conscience bids us remember the law.

Though we have not prophets, yet, as long as we have Bibles, we

may keep up our communion with God. Let others boast in their

proud reasoning, and call it enlightening, but let us keep near

to that sacred word, through which this Sun of Righteousness

shines upon the souls of his people. They must keep up a

believing expectation of the gospel of Christ, and must look for

the beginning of it. John the Baptist preached repentance and

reformation, as Elijah had done. The turning of souls to God and

their duty, is the best preparation of them for the great and

dreadful day of the Lord. John shall preach a doctrine that

shall reach men's hearts, and work a change in them. Thus he

shall prepare the way for the kingdom of heaven. The Jewish

nation, by wickedness, laid themselves open to the curse. God

was ready to bring ruin upon them; but he will once more try

whether they will repent and return; therefore he sent John the

Baptist to preach repentance to them. Let the believer wait with

patience for his release, and cheerfully expect the great day,

when Christ shall come the second time to complete our

salvation. But those must expect to be smitten with a sword,

with a curse, who turn not to Him that smites them with a rod.

None can expect to escape the curse of God's broken law, nor to

enjoy the happiness of his chosen and redeemed people, unless

their hearts are turned from sin and the world, to Christ and

holiness. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all.

Amen.

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