January 21

Malachi 4:2, 5-6 2But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.

5"See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. 6He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, andthe hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."

The Old Testament closes with promises. Those who revere the name of the LORD can know the sun of righteousness will rise upon them with healing in its wings. In the Revelation given to John, he saw the heavenly city needed no other light than the Lamb of God. Those who revere the name of our eternal God can look forward with hope to the reign of Jesus, to living in the presence of God.

The final words predict the next prophet, the final person to hold the office of prophet in the Old Testament sense of the title. Jesus declared that John the Baptist was Elijah (Matthew 11:13,14). He comes again before the Day of Judgment. The reason he comes is to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. John's message was one of repentance. He called on people to deal with heart issues that blocked the way of the Messiah's entrance into their hearts.They were to have a change in the way they thought.

Our culture expects children to be rebellious and for fathers to have little devotion to their children, but this is not God's intention. In fact, it is the reason He will smite the land with a curse. Parents are to nurture their children, and children are to honor their parents. This is a reflection of God's relationship with us. Being right with God includes right family relationships.

Consider: Are your family relationships a picture of heavenly relationships? If they aren't, what changes do you need to make?