5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.” (WEB)
Today's Bible reading highlights the last prophetic word given in the Old Testament. In this profound prophetic declaration, we read how the Lord will send Elijah the prophet to announce the great turning of the hearts of fathers to their children and children to their fathers.
We read the fulfillment of this word when an angel of the Lord promises a son to an old man named Zacharias who would later be known as John The Baptist. Let's read it in Luke 1:11-17...
11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 12 Zacharias was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him. 13 But the angel said to him, “Don’t be afraid, Zacharias, because your request has been heard, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. 14 You will have joy and gladness; and many will rejoice at his birth. 15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord, and he will drink no wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb. 16 He will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God. 17 He will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to prepare a people prepared for the Lord.” (WEB)
John The Baptist came to herald the coming of the Messiah. It was the coming of Jesus that would see the fulfillment of the last prophetic word in the Old Testament. Through His death, burial and resurrection, the hearts of countless multitudes throughout the generations would be able to turn their hearts to the Lord.
I believe this prophetic word is especially significant for the generation which we live in right now. There has never been a time when fatherlessness has been as rampant as it is now. I believe that the primary reason for Jesus dying on the cross was so that He could be the way for an orphaned world to be reconciled with their Heavenly Father (2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
It is the turning of the Father's heart to His children that we saw 2,000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross. Through His sacrifice, countless millions of His children have turned their hearts back to God.
And the story doesn't stop there. The more that we can know our heavenly Father and receive His love, the more we will be healed of our own earthly parental wounds. The more healing we receive in this area, the more we will be able to forgive our mothers and fathers for not giving us the love that we needed growing up.
The more we can forgive them, the more that compassion will be released from God and our hearts will turn towards our natural parents. And of course, the same process happens between parents and their children.
My prayer today is that we would all know that it is the eternal plan of the Godhead (Father, Son & Holy Spirit)... to turn our hearts. As we know the fathering of God, we will know that we were created and destined to live our lives as His beloved children. May the reality of His unending, eternal love for us bring healing to every area of our wounded soul.
May His grace give us the ability to have compassion on those who hurt us so that forgiveness could be released between the generations. And as we turn our hearts one to another, may we be reminded that we are still seeing the fulfillment of Malachi 4:5-6 today.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. 18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (WEB)