Bible Stories for the Young


Returning to Covenant-Life


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Malachi : Returning to Covenant-Life

After Malachi warned the people who were holding out on God, God went on to tell them about how He was going to do something about all this covenant-breaking. He told them, “I will send a special Messenger, a runner who will clear the way before Me. Trust Me, the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to His temple. The One you long for is certainly coming.

“Who can handle the Day of His Coming? Who can stay standing through it? Ohhh, God is going to be like a fire that purifies metal… or like a really good soap for doing laundry. He will make them like pure gold or silver. He will scrub people and make them clean from their sins so that they can give Him good gifts in the right way.”

After hearing this, the people who actually feared the Lord talked together. And as they talked, the Lord listened to what they said. He heard how they feared Him and how they always thought about the honor of His name. So God had all of their names written down on a scroll, to make sure that none of those people were forgotten.

“They will be My people,” He said. “On the day of judgment, they will be My own special treasure. No punishment for them… just like a Father doesn’t discipline an obedient child.” Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who don’t.

“The day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. But for you who respect My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and jump around like happy calves.

“Remember the law I gave through My servant Moses.

“Before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes, I will send the prophet Elijah to you. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and He’ll turn the hearts of the children to their fathers.”

And that, children, is the very last thing found in what we call the Old Testament section of the Bible.

Through the poetry, pictures and prophecies of the Old Testament, God had given many sneak peeks into what was about to come next in His Big Story.

From the very beginning of the Covenant of rules, God’s seers had to constantly remind the people that they needed to “Know the Lord, Know the Lord!”… “Do this! Don’t do that! Do that! Don’t do this!”

But, as was told to Jeremiah many years before, a NEW Agreement was coming. And in this New Deal, He said there would be NO more need for repeating over and over and over to God’s People that they needed to “Know the Lord, Know the Lord.”

In the New Agreement, EVERYONE in God’s Family would Know the Lord — from the least to the greatest, from the youngest to the oldest, from the wisest to those still learning to be wise.

Now is a good time for you to stop and think about all the people we’ve talked about — from Adam to Malachi.

Think about which people might make you say, “I want to do what she did,” or “I want to see what he saw.”

Now think about which people might make you say, “The relationship that he or she had with God, I WANT THAT relationship with God, too!”

That list is way shorter, isn’t it? Enoch, Abraham, Moses, David, Elijah, Isaiah… Close Relationship is much more special than just doing and seeing cool stuff, isn’t it?

And in the New Deal coming… everyone in God’s House was going to have a RELATIONSHIP with God Himself (like both Jeremiah and Ezekiel said would happen).

Everyone was going to have that heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone because God would put His Holy Spirit in those who are His and nudge, prod, and provoke them to follow His ways and guide and draw and woo them to be careful to keep His laws — from the INSIDE!

His laws were not going to be written on stone tablets anymore. They were going to be written on the hearts of all those who are His.