Happy Calves

The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says, “The day of judgment is coming, burning like a furnace. On that day the arrogant and the wicked will be burned up like straw. They will be consumed—roots, branches, and all.

“But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Malachi 4:1-3 New Living Translation

In times of corruption, it is often hard for the oppressed and the righteous to find hope. The people in Malachi’s time felt this. As if He was reading their thoughts, God had speculated that the people were saying what’s the point of following Him (3:15). From their perspective, it appeared that the arrogant people were blessed. They persisted in their evil and disregard for God, yet they continued to prosper and gain wealth from their exploitation of others. If God wasn’t going to intervene, what was the point of trying to honor Him?

God made it clear that a day of judgment was coming. There was a day coming when the arrogant would be consumed by the fire of God’s holiness and they would no longer oppress the weak and vulnerable. For those who revere His name, though, there is also a promise in these words. As the day of judgment comes, God also promises that one He calls the Sun of Righteousness will come. This Sun of Righteousness will bring healing for the oppressed and righteous ones. They will throw off their oppression and be as carefree as a calf playfully romping through the pasture. All the deeds of the arrogant ones who defy God will be trampled underfoot to be remembered no more.

In our world, we can often see cruelty and injustice being done by those who arrogantly thumb their nose at God with no regard for His just ways. It can appear that there is no consequence for their actions as they continue to amass wealth from their unjust ways. God takes the long view on these things, though. He knows that a day of righteous judgment is coming and those who arrogantly oppress others will meet the consequences of their injustice. Those of us who seek justice and righteousness can find hope in this day. Healing will come through Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, and we will know what it means to be carefree again. God assures us that on that day we will see the difference between the righteous and the wicked people again.

Prayer:
God, thank You that You are righteous and that You will balance the scales of justice in the end. Help us to trust You to make your justice known and bring healing to our wounds through Your Son, Jesus.

Published by llongard

I grew up in northeast Wisconsin. After high school, I moved to Minneapolis, MN to attend North Central University and graduated 1992 with a degree in Biblical Studies and Humanities. I spent most of the next fifteen years in the Twin Cities area until my family and I moved to Indiana in 2007. For most of the first seventeen years after college, I was involved in university ministry either as a volunteer, bi-vocational, or full-time campus minister. Through those years, I also worked in the main street marketplace as a retail manager/trainer and as a service representative in the insurance industry. I've also worked in various education roles. Most recently, I have been working on various projects addressing homelessness in Indianapolis and as team lead for Diakonos Community, a Communitas International missional initiative. Through this ministry, we seek to build missional communities in Indianapolis that serve and bring the life of Christ to those on the margins of society. Our strategy is to collaborate with community agencies that serve those in need and share Christ through meaningful relationships. I am blessed with a wonderful wife, three amazing daughters, and two cats (can't forget the cats, LOL). As a family, we enjoy camping, hiking, gardening, and going to the YMCA together. I also enjoy fishing, riding bicycle, and being involved in whatever my daughters are doing. Though I have not lived in the Green Bay area for over 20 years, I am still a major Packer fan.

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