17 "They will be mine," says the LORD Almighty,
"in the day when I make up my treasured possession.
I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him.
18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked,
between those who serve God and those who do not.
4:1 "Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace.
3 Then you will trample down the wicked;
they will be ashes under the soles of your feet
on the day when I do these things," says the LORD Almighty.
4 "Remember the law of my servant Moses,
the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.
5 "See, I will send you the prophet Elijah
before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.
6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children,
and the hearts of the children to their fathers;
or else I will come and strike the land with a curse."
How does such an attitude contrast with that of vs 17?
Why might Christians envy unbelievers?
And is any such envy justifiable?
Why wouldn't a Christian want to trade places with an unbeliever?
vs 16 What do you suppose those who feared the Lord talked about?
And why was this important to God?
Notice 4:1 and 4:2 contrasts God's attitude towards two type of people.
But can people really be put completely in one category or the other?
Or do most people fall kind of in between the two?
vs 3 To "trample down the wicked"
vs 4:1 Matt 13:49-50 This is how it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
vs 4:4 Joshua 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
vs 4:5,6 Lu 1:17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous-- to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." (concerning John the Baptist)
Lu 7:26,27 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is the one about whom it is written: "'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.'