In Malachi, He's the Son of Righteousness with healing in His wings
Repent and Return
Malachi was originally written for the Jewish nation as a call to repentance and a returning to the Lord. Today, we parallel the call of the Jewish nation with a call to all mankind.
As it was in the days of old, so it is today. We find it hard to accept the fact that we have sinned. And, as it was in the days of old, people today still argue against a coming judgment of God. "Because God is a God of love, I will go to Heaven, because God loves me too much to send me to Hell." We have a sugar-coated preaching theme in most churches that speak only of God's love; yet, fail to mention other important attributes of our omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God.
Malachi 1:6-7--"'A son honors his father, and a serve ant his master. I I am a Father, where is the honor due me? If I am a Master, where is the respect due me?' says the Lord Almighty. 'It is you, O priests, who show contempt for My name. But you ask, "How have we shown contempt for Your name?" You place defiled food on my altar. But you ask, "How have we defiled you?" By saying that the Lord's table is contemptible.'"
Malachi 2:17--"You have wearied the Lord with your words. 'How have we wearied Him?' you ask. By saying, 'All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and He is pleased with them.' or "Where is the God of justice?'"
Malachi 3:7-8--"'Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,' says the Lord Almighty. 'But you ask, "How are we to return?" Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me. But you ask, "How do we rob You?" In tithes and offerings.'"
Malachi 3:13-14--"'You have said harsh things against me,' says the Lord. 'Yet you ask, "What have we said against You?" You have said, "It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out His requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?"'"
The book of Malachi serves to show the way back to a genuine faith one can have in God:
- GOD DOES NOT CHANGE. Malachi 3:6--"'I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.'"
- GOD INVITES ME TO RETURN TO HIM. Malachi 3:7--"'Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from me decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,' says the Lord Almighty."
- GOD NEVER FORGETS THOSE WHO RESPOND. Malachi 3:16--"Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name."
The God of love, yes; but, also the God of justice.
Justice is a term used for what we know to be right or for as it should be. It is an attribute of God, and is an extension of His holiness. God is perfect in His holiness which makes Him perfect in His justice which makes Him perfect in His love which makes Him perfect in His holiness.
But, to understand God's justice, we must first understand our sin and the penalty for our sin. In its basic definition, sin is lawlessness. 1 John 3:4 says, "Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness." Sin is a crime against God. Sin is the embodiment of everything that is contrary to God's holy nature. God is perfect in His holiness which makes Him perfect in His justice which makes Him perfect in His love which makes His perfect in His holiness. Therefore, God's justice demands a penalty for our sin. Death, or eternal separation from God, is that penalty. Romans 6:23a--"For the wages of sin is death." God's love for us is what made it possible for Him to send His Son to pay the penalty for us. John 3:14-17--"'Just a Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.'" It is just impossible to say that God's love cancels God's justice and judgment; it does not. God's love is what made it possible for the Son to accomplish the work required of Him that we might have the penalty for our sins paid for. Romans 6:23b--"But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."
"'If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor My name,' says the Lord Almighty, 'I will send a curse on you, and i will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor Me.'"
"Put what I have spoken into your hearts. Let it sink deeply into your souls. I am the Lord your God. I am your Creator. I am due your honor. As your Lord and Creator, I alone have the right to demand, and expect, no less from you. There will come a day when I will send no more good to you, and all that you currently have will come to an end. If your temporal blessings are not such as to you to Me, you will suffer the judgment of Hell. I gave you the option of life or death in the Garden of Eden, and then again through Moses. Now, choose life."
Genesis 2:16-17--"And the Lord God commanded the man, 'You are free toe at from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.'"
Deuteronomy 30:19-20--"This day I call Heaven and Earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him. For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob."
In the book of Matthew, its author, Matthew, wants Israel to know that Jesus is their long awaited Messiah...the Lion of Judah, the King of Israel. The Gospel of Mark portrays Jesus as the obedient servant of God. Jesus often referred to Himself as the Son of Mark, and that is how the book of Luke accounts for Him...the Son of Man. John's account, in the gospel bearing his name, presents Jesus as God; all throughout the book of John, Jesus' sermons and discourses have within them, "I Am."
In Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, He is God, Man, Messiah.