“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the LORD Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays.”
Safe From the Fire
Any fan of camping will tell you that a fire can be a beautiful thing. Anyone who’s ever had their power go out during a winter storm will tell you that a furnace is beneficial and necessary. But the fire that the prophet Malachi describes in our Bible reading for today is not like that. This fire rampages. This fire destroys.
Whom does the fire destroy? All the arrogant and every evildoer. (They) will be stubble. Not a root or branch will be left to them. It would be foolish for us to push these words aside as if they were only meant for others to hear and consider. A quick look of our interactions and relationships, the desires of our hearts, the machinations of our minds reveals the truth: “I am the arrogant one. I am an evildoer. I deserve the fire.”
But the day when the fire destroys and the evildoer is reduced to stubble—that’s also the day when Jesus has promised to stand beside those who trust in him so that not a hair of their heads nor a thread of their clothing will be singed.
For you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. Sun is spelled s-u-n there, but the Bible reveals a righteousness that comes through the S-o-n. For it is in the Son, the Son of God, that we find true healing from our sins. The tears, breaks, lacerations, and gashes that our disobedience has inflicted in our relationship with God, have been healed by Jesus’ wounds. Believe in him and what he has done, and no fire of hell, no flame of judgment will be able to touch you.
Jesus, lead me each day to place my trust fully in you and to rejoice in the healing found in you, that I might truly be prepared for the day of your return. Amen.