Devotional Passage: Malachi 4:1-6
Christmas is two days away. Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. The hope is that you have used the last several weeks to prepare your heart and mind so that you are in the right frame of mind to experience Christmas. In a word, the hope is that you are properly “expectant.”
What does it mean to be expectant? To be expectant means to be in a state of expecting. When we expect something, we’re looking for it—waiting on it. There is a certain longing in our spirits for the thing we’re waiting on. And if you’ve used the last few weeks accordingly, you should be properly expecting Jesus.
Do you know who else was expecting Jesus? The Israelites. His chosen people. For a few hundred years, many of the people had actively rebelled against God. They had turned from Him and worshipped other gods. God spoke through His prophets to try and turn the people back, being super patient with them as they were unfaithful to Him. And then, He could be patient no more. He allowed the judgment He predicted to come true. Israel was destroyed. The people were left isolated and desolated. And the faithful among them longed for God. They were waiting expectantly.
Read Malachi 4:1-6. These are the very last words of the Old Testament. Scholars believe there was roughly a 400-year period between these words and the words of the New Testament. And during this entire period, the people were waiting. Waiting. Waiting.
Look at Malachi’s words here: “Behold the day is coming.” Malachi was longing for God to return and judge the evildoers in his land. This would be a bad day for those who were against God. But for the righteous, the day will come like the dawning of the sun, shining new light on all the people of God. Malachi didn’t quite know what to expect. He didn’t quite know what he was waiting for. But he knew he was waiting on God’s promise to come true.
Jesus was what Malachi was waiting on. Jesus was the object of the people’s expectations. The question for you, as you near Christmas Eve, is whether Jesus is the object of YOUR expectation.
Think about this:
• If you’ve put yourself in the position to properly expect God this Christmas season, how has this impacted your faith?
• If you haven’t, no worries. What can you do to get yourself ready to take in everything that Christmas means?