The Law and the New Elijah

Here is my last blog post on Malachi. It covers 4:4-6. You can read the passage here.

            Malachi closes with an odd set of three verses.  But they serve as a fitting reminder of what Christians of all times have been called upon to do.  First, Malachi tells Israel to remember the Law of Moses. (vs. 4) This word “remember” is used thirteen times in Deuteronomy.  It is a call to remember the covenant that God instituted at Mount Sinai and to obey.  True prophets, like Malachi, do not reject the Law of Moses or add to the Law of Moses. They expound or preach the Law of Moses.  Just like the great prophet Jesus, they do not destroy the law. (Matthew 5:17-20) Here at the end of the history of Israel, over a thousand years after Moses was on Mt. Sinai the command remains; remember the law.  It is worth noting that following Malachi there was four-hundred years of silence. However, during this time, Israel still had God’s word.  She still had the law.
            Second, Malachi says that a new Elijah will come who will help Israel obey the law. (vs. 5-6)  Elijah was one of the greatest prophets of the Old Testament. He changed the course of Israel’s history by his ministry. But his change was temporary. Malachi, like many of the prophets, saw a coming day, when God would judge and save his people; the day when Elijah would come. This Elijah will help God’s people fulfill the fifth commandment, “honor your father and mother.”  He will restore broken relationships, especially in the home.  He will do this so that Israel will not become a curse. The word “curse” is the same term used for the nations in Canaan that God drove out by Joshua.  Elijah will come so Israel will not become like the nations.  These last verses began to be fulfilled in the ministry of John the Baptist. (Luke 1:17, Matthew 11:10, 11:14)
Do not forget the law of God. The Mosaic Law has change and been adjusted in the New Covenant, but it has not been discarded.  A study of the first five books of the Bible are worth your time and energy (Exodus 20-25 and Deuteronomy 19-25).
Christ came to restore broken relationships, especially those in the home.  Therefore one of the fundamental jobs of the church is to preach the word of Christ so that it builds and strengthens marriages and the bond between parents and children.  It is unfortunate that often the church tears apart the relationship between parents and children, thus undermining God’s law and the gospel.  This principle of reconciliation also extends to other relationships as well. With the coming of Christ true unity in families and communities became possible. Without Christ all we have is brokenness, separation, and war.