#717 – The Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2) - Radical

#717 – The Sun of Righteousness (Malachi 4:2)

“But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.”
(Malachi 4:2)

What a great verse. And the first verse in this chapter is a sobering verse, talks about how the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and evil doers will be stubble. That verse says that day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the Lord of hosts, that will leave them neither root nor branch. It’s a picture of judgment coming upon all those who have sinned against God and not trusted in the salvation of God.

All who turn from sin and trust in Christ now know Jesus as their righteousness before God. We anticipate the day when we will fully and finally experience healing in His wings.

It’s a sobering picture, and then the contrast in verse two. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings and you shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. It’s a totally different picture. So, what’s the difference? But for those who fear my name, those who revere the name of God, who honor the name of God, who glorify the name of God, who trust in the righteousness of God, the Sun of Righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings, who look to God for healing.

This is a picture of all those who trust in God for salvation. Most Biblical scholars have understood this verse to be a prophecy of the coming of Christ, the light of the world, who would bring, who has brought forgiveness of sins, who has given us his righteousness. So, for all those who fear God, who turn from their sin and trust in Jesus, the son of righteousness, then when it comes to the day of judgment, we will go out leaping like calves from the stall. Not because we are good, better than anybody else, because we have trusted in the only one who is good, the only one who is righteous.

Oh, I urge you today, like do you know for sure, right where you are sitting or walking or whatever you’re doing as you’re listening to this, do you know that the day of judgment for you will be a day of joy, not a day of somber gloom? Do you know that? I was talking with someone just a couple of days ago. I said, “Do you know for sure that you will have eternal life in heaven when you die?” And she said, “No.” I said, “Would you like to know? If you could know you have eternal life with God, would you want to know how you can know that?” And she said, “Yes.” We start walking through the gospel, share the gospel with her, and she said, “I want to trust in Jesus.”

I invite you. I urge you. Trust in Jesus. Put all your faith in Jesus. Turn from your sin in fear of God’s name, in fear of God’s holiness, in recognition of God’s holy judgment upon sin. Turn from your sin and put all your trust in Jesus as the savior of your sin, as the Lord of your life. And in Jesus, find life. Find joy. I love how this picture of fearing God’s name is coupled with leaping like calves from the stall. Joy is found. Eternal joy is found in fearing the name of God.

Oh, oh, God. I pray. If there’s anybody listening right now who is not sure that their eternity will be filled with joy through faith in Jesus, I pray that you would bring them to know Jesus now, to trust in Jesus today. I know not one of us is guaranteed to make through the rest of this day, so I pray. I pray that there would be people who trust in Jesus right now as we’re praying right now to put their trust in you, to save them from their sins, to be lord over their lives, to be their life.

And Jesus, we praise you. You are our life. You are our righteousness. You are our joy. Oh, God, we fear your name. Teach us to fear your name, just to see you, to know you in greater and deeper ways to know your holiness, your glory, your grandeur, the weight and wonder of who you are, to not treat sin lightly, to run from sin, to hate sin and to cling to Jesus, our savior, our life, at every moment. Looking forward to the day of judgment, not because we will have been good enough, but because we have trusted in Jesus who is good enough and he has become our life. We have experienced healing in his wings.

Oh, God, we thank you for the assurance of eternal life. And I pray those who are listening now, I pray for everyone that they would know that assurance through faith in Jesus alone. In his name, we pray. Amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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