Malachi 4:2, 5-6—But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.
The Old Testament closes with promises. Those who revere the name of the LORD can know the sun of righteousness will rise upon them with healing in its wings. In the Revelation given to John, he saw the heavenly city did not need light, for the Lamb was the light of it. Those who revere the name of our eternal God can look forward with hope to the reign of Jesus, to living in the presence of God. The final words predict the next prophet, the final person to hold the office of prophet in the Old Testament sense. Jesus declared that John the Baptist was Elijah (Matthew 11:13,14). He comes again before the Day of Judgment. The reason he comes is to turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers. John’s message was one of repentance. He called on people to deal with heart issues that blocked the way of the Messiah’s entrance into their hearts. They were to have a change in the way they thought. We expect children to be rebellious and for fathers to have little devotion to their children, but this is not God’s intention. In fact, it is the reason He will smite the land with a curse. Parents are to nurture their children, and children are to honor their parents. This is a reflection of God’s relationship with us. Being right with God includes right family relationships.