Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD. 6 “And he will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the land with a curse.”
First let’s address the curse. The curse inferred by the prophet Malachi, is a curse that God promised the children of Israel if they forsook His word and walked in disobedience, forsook fathering their children in the ways of God. Specifically this comes out of Deuteronomy 28, and refers to the curse that comes upon a people in rebellion and disobedience to God. This curse would be considered a covenant lawsuit, in which is God saying, you have rejected me and pushed me out of your life, therefore I have to honor your choice and leave you with no protection, no blessing and to be destroyed by the destroyer.
Deut. 28:1 “Now it shall be, if you will diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.
15 “But it shall come about, if you will not obey the LORD your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses shall come upon you and overtake you.
Our text in Malachi also refers to “the great and terrible day of the Lord” but we see from scripture that a curse could come upon any generation if true fathering, according to God’s word, is not brought to bear upon the children. I’m not suggesting we are in the great and terrible day of the Lord, but we are in the midst of a shaking that is intensifying. There are coming tribulations and these are coming because we’ve rejected the Lord. As shaking comes, at the same time, Father releases the spirit of Elijah, the spirit of Fathering, to adopt an orphaned generation that knows not the Lord.
Let’s look at Elijah and what the “spirit of Elijah” is. When we think of Elijah in the Old Testament, we generally think of a wild and radical prophet who was mean spirited and strong in confrontation. Included might be the image of old cuss who couldn’t get along with people…strong, gruff and authoritative. So strong is this image of Elijah that many modern day prophets have taken their cues from his persona. Unfortunately this is brought harm to accepting the role of prophecy in the modern church…dogmatic and infallible these who take on this air are missing the real person of Elijah.
Granted he did call down fire on an altar and call for the death of the prophets of Baal and Asherah. But the truth be known, Elijah walked in a significant and special fathering anointing. Yes he hated evil, but he did so for the sake of a generation lacking pure leadership, an orphaned generation, a generation that was much like the children of our day and age. If we look a little deeper into Elijah’s life we’ll see that his deepest passion was adopting, raising up and preserving the next generation.
In his day perversion was present in the land, sexual harlotry the norm and a form of birth control thought to bring a blessing (sacrifice to Baal). Ahab and Jezebel led the nation and they perverted the land with immorality and idolatry. Jezebel called for the death of the prophets of Jehovah and raised up 450 prophets of her own who were the priests of ministry at the sacred worship sites of Baal and Asherah.
Their leadership was to snuff out the witness of Jehovah, destroy the future generation with sexual sin and child sacrifice and it appeared that very few opposed them in their pursuit of destruction. In a sexually charged culture it’s ususally the children who pay the deepest for the folly of the parents. Pleasing self is elevated to the highest pinnacle.
How was Elijah making a difference? Every indication points to him as the lead prophet in what was called the “school of the prophets”. Through this ministry school it’s obvious that he was connected with the next generation. The “school of the prophets” was the organic bible college of his day. It appears that numbers were around 50 students in these schools and the students were referred to as “sons of the prophets” (see 2 Kings 2:1-14). The senior prophets were so organically connected to these “sons” that they were called Fathers (see 2 Kings 2:12).
The heart of Elijah was to stop the destruction of a generation due to the seduction of Jezebel and how that seduction had removed Fathers from their children, due to the lust for self gratification and sensual pleasure. I think we are in a similar day and age.
Satan is working overtime to bring harm to the children of our nation. He does not sleep or slumber. As it was in the days of Elijah so now.
In the days of Elijah, the silence of many had allowed the evil of Ahab and Jezebel to prevail throughout the land of Israel. “And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word” (1 Kings 18:21). The silence of the people spoke volumes of their indecisiveness and inaction. Their failure to stand up, speak up and speak out permitted wicked and evil men to run rampant.
We might be doing good, but are we doing enough? Do we realize the seriousness of the hour and the opportunities upon us to turn the tide?
Many have the mistaken notion that good is merely the absence of doing that which is wrong. Not so! One is good not merely because he does no evil, but because he is actively working for what is good. “Let him eschew evil, and do good” (1 Pet. 3:11). James explained, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).
Jesus said we must work while it is still day, since there will come a time when we can’t work (John 4:9).
Paul called us to redeem the time because of evil (Eph. 5:16).
In order to capture the opportunities of redeeming a broken generation we must continue to push back the encroachments of a blessed life, not getting too wrapped up in money, pleasure and stuff. Satan’s kids are working hard to pervert our land and take our nation away from us. God is calling us back to the works of Jesus, the first works. The gentile church is called to bring Jesus the fruit He deserves (Matt. 21:43). See also Matthew 13:22-23, Luke 8:14.
We need intentional expressions of good (Acts 10:38, Eph 2:10)
Make a plan, work your plan and become accountable to those who will coach you. This too is the spirit of Elijah that God is stirring in the Church today.
Our confession must be the same as the Lords, “I must be about my fathers business…” (Luke 2:49).
Are we visiting the sick?
Are we clothing the needy?
Are we embracing responsibility in culture, in our business, in our community?
Are we in prayer each day?
Are we delivering any captives?
Are we delivering any groceries?
Are we caring for the orphan or the abandoned?
Are we visiting those in prison?
Are we counseling the discouraged?
Let’s welcome the spirit of Elijah and redeem the next generation.