Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom you seek…
In the days of Malachi there were many who, as the prophet says, even " wearied the Lord with their words." They said that God delighted in the wicked as much as in the good, and denied that He would ever put any difference between them. "Where," said they, "is the God of judgment?" Notice —
I. WHAT THE PROPHET SAYS RESPECTING OUR LORD'S ADVENT. Jesus is here described under the most august titles. He is the Lord, the supreme Ruler and Governor of heaven and earth. Yet, notwithstanding His equality with the Father as God, He assumes the form of a servant, and comes as the Messenger of the covenant. In this office He was an object of desire and delight long before He came into the world. He was "the Desire of all nations." The circumstances of His advent were minutely foretold.
1. He was to be preceded by a herald or messenger. This messenger was John. The conduct of the Baptist excited universal attention, and very general admiration.
2. The temple was the place to which especially He was to come.
3. His advent, though so long predicted, was to be sudden. The manner of His appearance was so contrary to the worldly notions entertained respecting Him that He was overlooked and even rejected as an impostor.
II. THE EFFECTS WHICH THE PROPHET DESCRIBES AS ATTENDING THE ADVENT OF THE SAVIOUR.
1. As the characters of those to whom He was to come were very various, so His advent was to prove discriminating. To discover the hidden dispositions of the heart was one intent of our Lord's coming. This effect still follows from the preaching of the Gospel. Men, though unconscious of it them selves, are led to manifest their real characters, either as careless Pharisees or atheistical scoffers or humble believers.
2. As a consequence of this discriminating effect of our Saviour's advent it will also prove destructive. A refiner's fire will consume the dross, and fuller's soap will purge the filth of that to which it is applied. So will our Lord eventually destroy many of those to whom He comes. Their sins are aggravated by His coming.
3. There are many whom the advent of Christ will have the effect of purifying. How comfortable it should be for those who are enduring trials of affliction below, to know that while they are in the furnace the Refiner Himself sitteth over them, watching the process with all due solicitude, and taking care that they shall lose nothing but their dross. Two questions.
(1) What reception have you given to Christ since His first coming?
(2) What preparation have you made for His future advent?
Parallel VersesKJV: Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
WEB: "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, whom you desire, behold, he comes!" says Yahweh of Armies.