Malachi 4:4-6 – Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.
The words above are the last words in the Old Testament. God said these things to Judah sometime around 425 BC, and then he remained silent until just before the birth of Jesus when he sent Gabriel to declare the coming of the Messiah to Zacharias. So, one thing we would expect is that God’s words here would be pretty important, since they were the last thing that Judah would hear from him for quite a while.
At the end of the passage, there is a clear call for the nation to repent and turn in their hearts (fathers to children and children to fathers). But what has my attention is a theme that has been running through my reading almost daily. Notice that the first thing God says to the people as he prepares to close off communication for four hundred plus years is that they should remember his law, his written word. God let the people know that, although he was not going to be speaking through any prophets for a while, they lacked nothing that they needed to live a godly life. They had his written word, and that was enough for them to obey him, to know him, and to serve him faithfully.
Today, we again find ourselves in a world where God has not spoken through prophets in a long, long time. The canon of divine revelation was closed with the final verses in the book of Revelation. Since then, God may well have guided many people, but there is no evidence that anyone has received the kind of revelation that God spoke in the scriptures. So, like the people of Judah, we are living on God’s written word. His Holy Spirit inspired the writing of his word, and the Spirit helps us to understand that word. And, according to 2 Peter 1:3, God has given us everything that we need for life and godliness.
So, without question, we need to recognize the immense value of the holy scriptures. God has spoken to us in the Bible. The Bible is where we look to get to know God. In his perfect, infallible, and inerrant written revelation of himself, God has given us what we need to know him and please him.
Do you value the scriptures as God’s sufficient revelation of himself? Do you look to his word in order to find him? Do you trust the Bible more than your own thoughts, feelings, and experiences. If so, you are looking and trusting in the right direction.
Dear Lord, thank you once again for your holy word. The Bible is a true treasure. You have revealed yourself to men in your word, and I could never give you thanks enough for such a wonderfully gracious gift. Please help me to treasure your word, and to study it more faithfully to know you more.