But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.
I love word pictures. Scripture—especially the Old Testament—is full of them. A perennial favorite, in fact, is from Song of Solomon 4:2 (also found almost verbatim in 6:6), “Your teeth are like a flock of shorn ewes that have come up from the washing, all of which bear twins, and not one among them has lost its young.” Now, I believe I understand the nature of the compliment (that her teeth are straight and white and full and beautiful). But, and this is to all the brothers here in particular, I would not recommend its usage in our world today. It may not have the same effect it had 3,000 years ago. Yet such a word picture makes a point, just like the one at the beginning of this article.
Through Malachi, God has pronounced the coming end to those who are arrogant and those who are wicked (4:1). In the next verse (in italics above), however, God pronounces the delight that those who fear him will enjoy. Many of us likely do not have much experience being around calves as they are released from the stall, but we can imagine the scene. It is a moment of unadulterated joy and triumph. Malachi paints an image of the people of God frolicking (the word the Message uses in this verse) and rejoicing in what we have received from a great, holy, and faithful God.
It truly is an amazing moment. And it is definitely one to anticipate. Along the way to our final joy, however, let us remember we already share in a mutual joy because of God’s gracious work through Jesus. In other words, it is already a time for frolicking. Have a great day.