Lo, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before
the coming of the awesome, fearful day of the Lord.
Malachi (TANAKH, concluding verse)
I’ve spent 18 days on the prophets. There have been times of interest, times of concern, and times of boredom. One thing that has been clear is that people constantly fail to live up to God’s way. Time and time again God has called people back through the prophets. Their sayings have brought words of comfort and of punishment (maybe consequence is a better word) in the midst of exile or of being left behind there are always words of a coming future of liberation for God’s chosen people.
I was looking forward to the end of Malachi. The journey trough the Old Testament has been interesting and fulfilling, but also long and tiring. As I was nearing the end I was looking for some hopeful words of final freedom for God’s people. Instead there are words of a promised prophet that will speak of the coming day of the Lord.
Another prophet! I guess God’s people are going to need another, and another, an another . . .
Although the Revised Standard version gives us these verses as the conclusion of chapter four, the TANAKH does something interesting. After a concluding verse on chapter 3 (verse 25) the TANAKH gives us the above verse almost as an epilogue, a small footnote at the end of this short prophetic writing.
So a prophet is coming, and the Christian tradition has said that John the baptizer is the fulfillment of the prophesy of Malachi.
I am thankful for prophets. Although their words are not always what we are expecting, their words are needed to help us find our way back to God’s promises.