Title: The Messenger of the LORD
(H) Highlight verse: "Behold I send my messenger and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight , behold he is coming says the LORD of hosts" Malachi 3:1
(E) Explain: Malachi has spoken the words of judgment and repentance to the Priests and people of Israel. Now he gives to them hope and this hope is found in the coming messenger of the LORD. This is a prophecy about John the Baptist. In a few days we will look more closely at John, but we see in this passage that his call and purpose in life was to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. The priests and the people had lived in rebellion and disobedience to God for so long and Malachi has been warning them about God's displeasure. God claims that they have robbed from Him, have spoken against Him, profaned the covenant, and lived in disobedience to Him.
(A) Application: As the Old Testament comes close to ending it would seem as though there is despair and hopelessness abounding in the final chapters. As hopeless as it seems there is hope. Jesus is coming. John the Baptist will prepare the way for the coming King of glory. Hope abounds in the throngs of hopelessness. This remains true to this day... I have to continually remind myself this at this point of my life, maybe you need to as well. Today I am feeling hopeless and in despair, but I need to be reminded the Lord has come and He is on His throne of grace and sovereignty. So, I do not need to wallow in despair and hopelessness because the king of grace is on His throne and He will make all things right with him.
(R) Respond: Lord, may I prepare the way in my heart for you to come in and make right all that is wrong. May I trust that in my dark place there is light and that light is Jesus.