The Day of the Lord

Read Together: Malachi 4

As we saw on Sunday, Jesus teaches us in the Parable of the Weeds that there is a harvest coming when all evil will be dealt with. Those who have gone the way of the Serpent will share his fate: everlasting destruction. But those who follow Jesus will shine in his kingdom forever. We see the same sort of message many times throughout the Old Testament prophets.

In Malachi 4, the prophet declares that there is a day coming, the Day of the Lord (v. 5). It is a Day of both judgment and salvation, destruction and healing. It is the Day at the end of history when the Lord will act decisively in the world to establish his rule.

The Lord declares that evildoers will be punished on that Day. The Day of the Lord is a day of burning, and no evil will survive that blaze. All evildoers and their deeds will receive justice. But all who have walked in the ways of the Lord will experience healing. The Sun of Righteousness will shine on them, and they will be filled with joy and new life.

Throughout history, there have been several smaller days of the Lord that point to this Day. God’s judgment on Israel for their idolatry, the preaching of John the Baptist and the first coming of Jesus (vv. 5-6), the pouring out of the Holy Spirit—all of these foreshadow and lead to the final Day history is heading towards. What will be our fate on that Day? If we belong to Jesus, it will be a Day of glory and joy. If we go our own way, it will be a Day of terror. We must prepare now for that Day for it will come when we least expect it.

Discussion Questions

  1. What will happen to all who have rejected God’s rule on the Day of the Lord?
  2. What will happen to all who have trusted in God’s rule?
  3. How does this challenge us? How might this encourage us?

Ideas for Younger Kids

  • Read “The Snake Crusher Wins” in The Biggest Story Bible Storybook (pages 518–21).

Memorization: “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” (2 Peter 3:10 ESV)

Song: Listen to “The Sands of Time Are Sinking” (Sovereign Grace Music). This is a version of an older hymn written by Anne Cousins based on letters by a Scottish pastor named Samuel Rutherford about our glorious future in “Immanuel’s Land”.

Pray Together

  • Praise God that he is the King of History.
  • Confess before God that we are often so rooted in the present that we forget the Day all history is heading towards.  
  • Give thanks to God that Jesus is the Sun of Righteousness and that we find healing and new life in him.
  • Pray that God would help us live in light of eternity, that we would walk by faith, in holiness and the fear of the Lord.

Go Together

  • According to Malachi 4, those who fear the Lord will experience his healing and new life. The fear of the Lord should define our lives. To fear the Lord means we live in a deep worship, awe, and reverence of him. So, set aside some time to ask yourselves: am I living in this way? How can we grow in a deeper worship and trust in the Lord? The foundation for wise living in this world and hopeful living for the next is the fear of the Lord.
  • Consider writing or printing out verses like Malachi 4:2 or 2 Peter 3:9–10 and posting them somewhere in your house to remind your family of eternity and the hope we have in Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness.


If you have any questions, comments, or ideas related to this Family Faith Talk guide or future guides, please let us know by leaving a comment!

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