Sunday, July 5, 2009
Safely In The Stall
If you’ve been reading this blog very long, you know how much I love the words of Isaiah. He was an amazing man and an incredible teacher. His words are poetry and prophecy at the same time. One of my favorite things about him is how he encourages and uplifts. But there are other Old Testament prophets that I haven’t talked about before that also lift and encourage. One of those is Malachi.
One of my favorite verses from Malachi is “But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves in the stall” (Malachi 4:2). You have to think about this for a few minutes to really understand what Malachi is saying. First of all the play on words with Sun substituted for Son. Christ is the Son and He is the Light—the Sun—the bright light of righteousness. He will arise from the dead with healing in His wings. Throughout scripture wings is used for a symbol of power. There are many symbols that are used to denote power and each has a slightly different emphasis. Hands denote power in that they do work. A head denotes power in that it houses our brains where we choose what we will do. A wing specifically refers to the power to escape earthly enemies just as a bird can lift itself into the air and escape predators—as long as it stays in the air! Likewise Jesus will give us the power to escape our earthly enemies and lift us to God the Father.
But the last part of this verse is my favorite. In this day and age of cities and suburbs most of us don’t recognize the amazing promise being given us that the righteous will “grow up as calves in the stall.” Cattle that roam the range have to forage for their own food which is usually grass and weeds. They have to search for water and constantly be on the lookout for predators and a place to rest safely during the night. They have no one to care for them. But a calf in the stall doesn’t have to forage. In human terms, it as if he has room service. His meals are brought to him and placed in the trough. He is not only fed hay, but often grain. Water is constantly available. The calf in the stall has shelter from the elements, and not only a fence, but a caretaker who protects him from predators. More importantly, a calf in a stall often gets special treatment such as grooming because it is going to be shown at fairs or other events.
In short, what Malachi promises is that if we will turn to Jesus Christ He will heal, empower, nurture, protect, and care for us. What more could we ask for?