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Seeking to equip people to live as Christian disciples wherever God has placed them.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

“The One Who is Coming”

II Kings 1:1-10

The Book of Malachi ends with the promise that God will send Elijah “before the great and terrible day of the Lord” (Mal. 4:5).  The Old Testament testifies to two cent-comings of the Lord.  We would see these as Jesus’ first and second comings.  Yet throughout history God continues to come to his people.  He continues to guide, protect and judge all of his creation.  God provides multiple examples of his coming and of his presence.  Jesus’ initial coming includes the other examples of his coming to all those he touches in his earthly ministry whether it is the disciples he calls or the people he heals.

The one who announces this coming is Elijah.  One of the reasons that the religious leaders rejected Jesus as the Messiah was that they hadn’t seen the coming of Elijah.  They were being too literal.  John the Baptist was Elijah symbolically (Matt. 11:7-14).

This passage shows us the power of Elijah.  The king of Israel (the northern kingdom of Samaria) had fallen from a window and was in serious condition. He sends messengers to inquire of the false god Baal-zebub.

God however calls Elijah to confront the messengers and send them back.  The king then sends fifty soldiers to capture Elijah.  However Elijah calls down fire on them.  This story is referred to in the New Testament in Luke 9:51-56.

Fire is a symbol of God’s presence and power (Heb. 12:29). John the Baptist, following Elijah, calls down fire in a symbolic sense.  He is announcing the coming of one who is more powerful than he is.  This of course is Jesus Christ.  The announcement of his coming, as we saw in Malachi 3:1, is a matter of urgency.  There is no time to delay.  Jesus changes everything.  Are we ready for him?

Eternal and faithful God, as we enter this Advent season may I focus on the many ways you continue to come into my life.  Draw me closer to yourself.  I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.