Bible reading for December 29 -- 31
Dec 29 -- Malachi 2 and John 19
Dec 30 -- Malachi 3 and John 20
Dec 31 -- Malachi 4 and John 21
"But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall." (Malachi 4:2)
DOING ALL THINGS POORLY (Mal 2-3). As we draw near the end of the Mosaic covenant period, we see that even when the remnant of Israel is spared and returned to the land, they still do not continue in faithfulness and zeal. The Jews have lost their sense of God's greatness and their religion is half-hearted at best. The Lord himself will come to them: "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" (3:1). God's Son, Jesus, would himself stand in the temple courts in Jerusalem.
THE UNCHANGING GOD. People are so changeable and variable in their love for God (and others). But against this backdrop God states that he himself is unchanging in his purpose of salvation: "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed" (3:6). The immutability of God is a rock upon which we stand in our confident hope of salvation. "Human unbelief cannot alter the character of God," wrote A. W. Tozer. For our God is the Father of lights "with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (Jas 1:17).
LIKE CALVES FROM THE STALL (Mal 4). Great judgment and great joy both will be coming in the future. The image of calves running and kicking in the morning sun (v 2) is another beautiful picture of the joy of God's children. A prophet will come in the role of Elijah (v 5), who will prepare the way with a message of repentance (v 6; cf Mark 1:1-4). With the close of the little book of Malachi, there will be silence from God for some 400 years until the soft cry of the holy Infant is heard in the night air of Bethlehem. Below is a timeline of how Malachi fits within biblical history.
"Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.' Thomas answered him, 'My Lord and my God!'" (John 20:27-28)
CHRIST CRUCIFIED (Jn 19). The description of the method of Jesus' death is terse: "There they crucified him..." (v 18). The brutal agony and humility of such a death was known to all in that day. What shines forth in this event is the glory of Jesus himself, being lifted up for the salvation of others (Jn 3:13; 8:28; 12:32). He is calm and courageous before the power of Rome; he fulfills biblical prophecies; he cares for his mother; and he speaks the words of his glorious, completed work, "It is finished!" Our debt of sin is "paid in full." He is lovingly buried by friends in a borrowed tomb, to await the dawn of the third day.
"MY LORD AND MY GOD" (Jn 20). Read about Thomas' confession.
BREAKFAST BY THE SEA (Jn 21). This is one of my favorite resurrection stories! Read more here.
LAST BIBLE READING POST! Thank you for reading along with me on this two-year plan! And congratulations on your reading progress! May God bless you in your continued study of his word. All of these posts may be found on my website myburg.org, beginning January 2020.
Image credit: photo above by Mateus Bandeira on Unsplash.