God’s Messenger of the Covenant – R.Hanko

Coming_of_Zion_s_Redeemer -LgFrom his recently published commentary on Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi (The Coming of Zion’s Redeemer, RFPA, 2014) comes these thoughts from Rev.R. Hanko (Lynden, WA PRC) on Mal.3:1ff., which reads, “Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.”

He is identified not just as God’s messenger, but as the Messenger of the covenant. This identifies him both as the fulfillment of all the promises, the one of whom every other messenger was only a type and forerunner, and also as the one who would by his work bring God’s people into the full enjoyment of their covenantal relationship with God and who would establish that covenant on everlasting foundations, so that the relationship between God and his people could never again be interrupted.

But Christ is the messenger of the covenant not only because he takes away that which separates God and his people, that is, their sin; not only because he, by his Spirit, actually receives them into fellowship with God; but also because he is in his own person the one who unites us to God. He is the one in whom dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily and the one whose bone and whose flesh we are, so that in him we live and walk with God and are joined to God. He is Immanuel, God with us.

That he is the one in whom we delight stands in stark contrast to the unbelieving question of chap.2:17. When he does come, unbelief is cured, doubt is turned to faith, and disbelief becomes delight, by his gracious work as God’s messenger.

This is all promised by Jehovah of hosts, the one whom all things serve and in whose army they march. Nothing, therefore, can prevent the coming of the Messenger of the covenant. Nothing can stand in the way of his work. Nothing can spoil or interrupt his work, not the rise of the Roman Empire, not the apostasy of Judah in the days following Malachi’s prophecy, not the rise of Pharisees who would be his bitter enemies, not even the temptations of Satan. All things would serve him (pp.475-76).

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