by Mitch Glaser
About Mitch: Mitch serves as President of Chosen People Ministries. He was born into a nominally Orthodox Jewish home in New York City, where he attended Hebrew School and had his Bar Mitzvah. After waning from his Jewish roots and exploring various Eastern religions, Mitch investigated the Old and New Testaments to see whether Jesus was the Jewish Messiah. In November 1970, he accepted Jesus as his Messiah. Today, he and his wife live in Brooklyn, which he calls “the soul of the worldwide Jewish community.” For more, see here.
The Hebrew prophet Malachi was chosen by God to deliver the final promise of the Hebrew Scriptures. The Jewish people had returned to Israel in the 6th century BC, after seventy years of Babylonian captivity. Although they had rebuilt the Temple, they soon drifted into the same sinful patterns that caused them to be dispersed in the first place.
Judgment would come again through the Syrian Greeks and then, eventually, the Roman Empire would dominate Israel and the Jewish people. Perhaps in those dark days of Greek and Roman domination, the Jewish people remembered the bright promise of the prophet–that the Lord would turn their hearts back to Himself and remember His promises to His covenant people.
“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.”
The first signs of hope would come through a forerunner, a servant of God who begins the process of turning the Jewish people back to God. This New Covenant prophet, Yochanan, prepared his people for the coming of the One who was their true hope.
Spiritual restoration is oftentimes a two-step process. We take a step towards God, perhaps by heeding a godly friend’s words or reading the Bible, as God uses many means to get our attention. He break our sinful hearts, leads us to repentance and then brings healing through the One we call Yeshua who restores his people to covenant faithfulness. This is the One for whom John prepared the path.
May we begin this New Year in hope, knowing that God loves us enough to restore us, no matter how far we think we have drifted from Him. I hope you will take steps of repentance and return to the One who brings restoration and transforms us for His glory.
Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. I am prone to wander! My humanity takes me away from the God I love. Yet Lord, I am desperate for restoration on this New Year’s Eve. I want this year to be different than last year. I want to be closer to you. In the name of Yeshua the Messiah, Amen.