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As we finish up Malachi today, we will learn one final thing about this Lord of Hosts who has been the central and key figure of our study. We will see that the Lord of Hosts is coming to bring judgment to the wicked, joy to the righteous, and restoration to families for the good of the land.
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” 2 “But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. 3 You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.
4 “Remember the law of Moses My servant, even the statutes and ordinances which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel.
5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. 6 He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
As we will see, the Lord of Hosts is coming to bring judgment to the wicked, joy to the righteous, and restoration to families for the good of the land. There are four ways that this truth is fleshed out in this text.
I. Look Out v1
First, since judgment is coming, the wicked need to look out. Malachi declared in verse 1, “For behold, the day is coming, burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze,” says the LORD of hosts, “so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” Cleary, this judgment is going to be extremely severe! It is coming like a furnace and the wicked will be like chaff. Chaff generally refers to the husks when separated from wheat by thrashing or winnowing. It would be broken from the grain and tossed into the air so that the wind could separate it. We see the wicked referred to in this way in Psalm 1 as well. We read,
How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
4 The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.
The wicked, the arrogant, the evildoer will be like chaff that the wind drives away. They will be set ablaze. Jesus said in John 15:6, “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” Their branches will be consumed all the way to their roots! They will become nothing more than ashes under the feet of the righteous according to Malachi 4:3: “You will tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day which I am preparing,” says the LORD of hosts.”
The prophet Amos proclaimed, “Woe to you who desire the day of the Lord! Why would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness, and not light, 19 as if a man fled from a lion, and a bear met him, or went into the house and leaned his hand against the wall, and a serpent bit him. 20 Is not the day of the Lord darkness, and not light, and gloom with no brightness in it?” (Amos 5:18-20). This day will be a great and terrible day for the wicked. It will be a final judgment of the arrogant, evildoer, and the wicked.