He Will Send a Messenger Before Him (Week 41)
We end our reading of the Old Testament this week with the story of a gifted leader named Nehemiah. When Nehemiah brought the third group of exiles back to rebuild Jerusalem, he encountered much resistance. But in the end, the walls were rebuilt thanks to his wisdom, skill, and strong leadership.
Ezra focused his attention on leading the people into a renewal of their covenant with God, followed by a joyous celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. However, it is not long before the people are once again in disobedience. As the Old Testament winds down, we are faced with man’s propensity for sin—his only hope is in God.
The very last book of the Old Testament, however, leaves us with a ray of hope. The Lord speaks through the prophet Malachi that He is coming one day and will send a messenger to prepare the way before Him. This messenger will bring the people into a right relationship with each other and with God, restoring the purity of worship He has so longed for. Then, the “Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His wings” (Malachi 4:2).
We close the Old Testament with great longing in our hearts for this forerunner to prepare the way for the coming of the Promised One. Over the next 400 years, God will be busy at work setting the stage. And then the New Testament account of the forerunner’s arrival will begin.
I hope you enjoy this Out of Zion podcast, “He Will Send a Messenger Before Him”. Walk Thru the Bible with me each week by downloading our Bible reading plan, and get started reading right away!
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About this episode:
Nehemiah demonstrates great leadership as he brings a third group of exiles back to rebuild Jerusalem. He encounters much resistance but in the end the walls are rebuilt. Ezra leads the people in a renewal of their covenant with God and a joyous celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. However, it is not long before the people are once again in disobedience. So, the Old Testament ends with the reality of man’s frailty but with the reminder that one day God will send a messenger before Him and bring the people into a right relationship with Him resulting in the purity of worship He has longed for. This episode complements the daily readings from our Walk Thru the Bible reading plan for November 8-14, covering Nehemiah; 1 Chronicles 1-9.