Day 12 – Expect a forerunner.
The prophet Malachi gives us the last recorded words that we have from God before the 400-year period of silence begins between the Old and New Testaments. The time was bleak. There were only 50,000 Jewish exiles who had returned to Judah after their captivity in Babylon. But it was not without a sign of hope. With this last prophet’s words, God closes out the Old Testament history and prophecy.
“See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me.
Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenant you desire—
see, He is coming,” says the Lord of Hosts.
The prophet Isaiah also confirmed this messenger, or forerunner to the Messiah.
The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God.”
Were the people waiting for the Messiah to come? How would they recognize him? Malachi said a messenger would come first to clear the way for the Messiah. He would be a witness, one to help prepare the way.
Four hundred years later, when all hope seemed lost, an unusual man named John the Baptist arrived on the scene. He lived in the desert wilderness and came preaching a unique message: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near!” He was the forerunner to Christ.
“See, He is coming”, says the Lord of Hosts.
This Christmas season, may you feel the joy and anticipation of the Savior that is Jesus Christ.
* Merry Christmas *
A Christmas Story Devotional: 31 Days of the Christmas Story from Genesis to John
Follow along for the 31 days of December and experience a new and exciting appreciation for the ancient Christmas story we celebrate today. The story of Jesus and the meaning behind the celebration of Christmas is woven throughout the entire Bible – from the beginning of mankind in Genesis to the resurrection of Jesus as told by the apostle John some 4000 years later.
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