The Sun of Righteousness – Malachi 4

One of my favorite times of day is the thirty minutes or so leading up to sunrise.  The lightening sky manifests itself in any number of ways, sometimes with an artist’s palette of soft pinks and oranges spread upon the clouds, other times with a single, brilliant vertical pillar of light.  Couple these visual masterpieces with times of peace and serenity through prayer, meditation, and scripture, and the joy of life seems to overflow.

Spiritually, we need the Light of God to illuminate and instruct us in the things that are truly important to Him, valuable and worthy things for us to pursue, the goals and achievements that lead to an eternal harvest.  The prophet Malachi wrote about the divine Light which is there to enter any willing heart. 

But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;
And you shall go out
And grow fat like stall-fed calves.  Malachi 4:2 (NKJV)

The word “fear” used in the scriptural context of a loving God who freely offers us a life forever with Him is not about being literally “afraid” of Him.  Instead, it refers to us having an attitude of reverent respect and a desire to obey the will of the Lord.  

Scripture tells us that the harvest of a life lived in spiritual darkness is only stubble, worthy only to be trampled underfoot.  Before the light of God shined into our lives, we were in dangerous ignorance on such a path.  That all changes with the illumination of God.  Though once held captive by sin and darkness, Christ lights our way to free us from our shackles so that we may break forth in freedom like those young calves bounding from their stalls into an open field.

John the Baptist’s father used similar imagery in his prophetic prayer about the coming birth of Jesus:

78 Because of the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Sunrise from on high will visit us,
79 To shine on those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death,
To guide our feet into the way of peace.”  Luke 1:78-79 (NASB)

Many of us did wander aimlessly in the darkness at one time or another in our lives.  But by the grace of God, the light of Christ has risen upon us, beginning a new day, and shining a beacon of hope and salvation for all who would reach out to Him in faith.  Jesus will gladly grant all who turn to Him divine blessings, a great benefit of being called children of righteousness.

As Jesus walked throughout the land of Israel, His light shined wherever He went.

13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, 14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
    the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people dwelling in darkness
    have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
    on them a light has dawned.”  Matthew 4:13-16 (ESV)

And from the gospel of John:

12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  John 8:12 (ESV)

May the Sun of Righteousness rise and shine upon us as we walk together in the Light of the Lord. Have a very blessed day today.


What is your favorite way to spend time with God?

Father God, shine Your Light into the dark corners of our lives to remove everything that does not reverently honor You.  We seek to walk in Your light – help us to be successful on our journey, bearing good fruit as we pursue Your will in the righteousness of Christ.  We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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