1 ‘This future day is a fact. It will burn like a great fire. It will be like a fire that a man uses to burn stubble. When this happens, no branch or any part of a plant will be there any longer. The people who have done very bad things are like that stubble. No bad person will be there any longer. Some people think that they are better than other people. All the people who are like that will burn in the heat.’ That is what the Lord Almighty says.
4:1This fire will destroy everything. It is like a picture to show what will happen. One day God will kill all the very bad people.
2 ‘But for you who respect my name it will be different. The “Sun of Righteousness” will rise to make you well. You will go out and you will jump up and down. You will be like baby cows when someone lets them go out of their stalls. 3 Then you will put your feet down in a heavy way and you will walk on the bad people. They will be like ashes under your feet. All this will happen on the day that I do these things,’ says the Lord Almighty.
4:3As the sun will rise on that day, so the Son of God (Jesus) will appear. He is righteous. The sun can burn with a strong heat and it can cause a fire. But the sun can also make people's bodies well. So, Jesus will come to do this. Those people that worship the Lord will become completely well. Their spirits will be well and their bodies will be well too. They will have no troubles from anyone or from anything that is bad. They will be very, very happy.
4 ‘Remember everything that my servant Moses told you. Do not forget the rules that I gave to him at Sinai. They were for all the Israelites and you must still obey them.’
4:4Moses was a man that God spoke to many years ago. Moses was on Sinai mountain. God told him about all the things that the Israelites must do. That was the first time that God had said those things.
5 ‘See. I will send you a man called Elijah. He will speak God's message. He will come before that great and frightening day of the Lord. 6 He will cause fathers and their children to be friendly again. If not, I will come in a hurry and I will curse the land.’
4:6Many years after Moses, there lived a man called Elijah. Elijah spoke God's message to the people. God promises that another ‘Elijah’ will come before the day of the Lord. About 460 years after Malachi wrote his book, John the Baptist was born. People thought that he was like Elijah. John told us about Jesus. Soon after that, Jesus came to the earth. Then Jesus told us more about the day when he will come the second time.