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The Sun of Righteousness and His Forerunner.
The prophet, having addressed the scoffers in words of warning, in conclusion describes the results of the Lord's appointing that day of which He had spoken.
v. 1. For, behold, the day cometh, the entire New Testament period being considered a day of sifting and of judgment, because it culminates in the Day of Judgment, that shall burn as an oven, one which holds the refiner's fire; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble, under the fire of His wrath, Cf Matthew 3:10-12; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, Cf Isaiah 5:24; Zephaniah 1:18, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch, the final, eternal destruction of the wicked being coincidental with the last Judgment. Such is the terrible fate of those who do not avail themselves of the Lord's mercy.
v. 2. But unto you that fear My name, those who believe in Jehovah, the God of the covenant, and His redemption, shall the Sun of Righteousness, the Messiah, with the fullness of His salvation, arise with healing in His wings, in the rays of His mercy sent out through His Word; and ye shall go forth, with joyfully uplifted heads, and grow up as calves of the stall, nourished by the Word of Truth and Grace. Cf John 1:14.
v. 3. And ye shall tread down the wicked, whose final overthrow is consistently prophesied in Scripture; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet, powerless and worthless, in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts. All believers are happy in their faith, in the enjoyment of Jehovah's mercy; they enjoy true liberty and will finally celebrate an eternal victory over all their enemies. The prophet therefore, in concluding his message, adds an admonition:
v. 4. Remember ye the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded unto him In Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments, the Word which contained His solemn covenant.
v. 5. Behold, I will send you Elijah, the prophet, a prophet like him, namely, John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Messiah, Matthew 11:10-14; Matthew 17:10-13; Luke 1:17, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord, Joel 2:31, namely, before the Lord Himself would begin His ministry, which ushered in the period of the New Testament, culminating in the Last Judgment;
v. 6. and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, in having them both realize the love of Jehovah in sending the Messiah and in the subsequent salvation wrought for all men, Luke 1:17, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse, namely, in the event that men will not heed the preaching of repentance unto the forgiveness of sins. The Jews as a nation rejected the Messiah and have come under the curse. But this did not result in the overthrow of the kingdom of God and Christ. The spiritual Israel, rather, has heeded, and is heeding, the Word of Grace and is enjoying the fullness of the blessings promised throughout the Old Testament and so gloriously fulfilled in the New Dispensation.
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Kretzmann, Paul E. Ph. D., D. D. "Commentary on Malachi 4". "Kretzmann's Popular Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany