As we come to the book of Malachi I have been thinking about the 400 years between this last book of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament, called by some the “Silent Years.” During these years nations were toppled and replaced, and by the time Jesus was born, Rome was in control.
Great upheaval in political and economic events of the times probably left the Jews feeling forgotten by God. But God surely did not forget and one day in His perfect time a virgin brought forth her firstborn Son and laid Him in a manger, just as the prophet Isaiah had foretold: “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14 KJV
Today our nation is changing in ways we never expected. Threatened from without and within, some may wonder if God has forgotten us. Books on prophesy are suddenly in great demand as believers see signs on the horizon that Jesus may soon return. Many scoff as Peter foretold saying "Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” (2 Peter 3:4)
But just as in those 400 “silent years” God is at work today preparing to fulfill His promise: “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)
So as we come to the book of Malachi, I find myself identifying with the believers who were living in those difficult times. Malachi writes: “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them...” (Malachi 3:16a) Through these devotional readings and your comments, those of us who fear the Lord will speak to one another and believe that God listens and hears.
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Lord, today I claim the promise: "So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘On the day that I make them My jewels.’ " (Malachi 3:16-17)