You that fear my name - The persons mentioned in the sixteenth verse of the preceding chapter, ye that look for redemption through the Messiah.
The Sun of righteousness - The Lord Jesus, the promised Messiah; the Hope of Israel.
With healing in his wings - As the sun, by the rays of light and heat, revives, cheers, and fructifies the whole creation, giving, through God, light and life everywhere; so Jesus Christ, by the influences of his grace and Spirit, shall quicken, awaken, enlighten, warm, invigorate heal, purify, and refine every soul that believes in him, and, by his wings or rays, diffuse these blessings from one end of heaven to another; everywhere invigorating the seeds of righteousness, and withering and drying up the seeds of sin. The rays of this Sun are the truths of his Gospel, and the influences of his Spirit. And at present these are universally diffused.
And ye shall go forth - Ye who believe on his name shall go forth out of Jerusalem when the Romans shall come up against it. After Cestius Gallus had blockaded the city for some days, he suddenly raised the siege. The Christians who were then in it, knowing, by seeing Jerusalem encompassed with armies, that the day of its destruction was come, when their Lord commanded them to flee into the mountains, took this opportunity to escape from Jerusalem, and go to Pella, in Coelesyria; so that no Christian life fell in the siege and destruction of this city.
But these words are of more general application and meaning; "ye shall go forth" in all the occupations of life, but particularly in the means of grace; and: -
Grow up as calves of the stall - Full of health, of life, and spirits; satisfied and happy.
But (And) unto you, who fear My Name, shall the Sun of Righteousness arise - It is said of God Psalm 84:11, “The Lord God is a sun and a shield, and Isaiah 60:19-20, The Lord shall be to thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory; thy sun shall no more go down, for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light;” and Zacharias, speaking of the office of John the Baptist in the words of Malachi, “thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare His way, speaks of Luke 1:76, Luke 1:78-79. the tender mercy of our God, whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us, to give light to them that sit in darkness.” “He who is often called Lord and God, and Angel and Captain of the Lord‘s host, and Christ and priest and Word and Wisdom of God and Image, is now called the Sun of Righteousness. He, the Father promises, will arise, not to all, but to those only who fear His Name, giving them the light of the Sun of Righteousness, as the reward of their fear toward Him. This is God the Word Who saith, ‹I am the Light of the world,‘ Who was ‹the Light of every one who cometh into the world.”‘ Primarily, Malachi speaks of our Lord‘s second Coming, when Hebrews 9:28. “to them that look for Him shall He appear, a second time unto salvation.”
For as, in so many places (As Psalm 1:6; Psalm 2:12; Psalm 3:7-8; Psalm 5:10-12; Psalm 6:8-10; Psalm 7:16-17; Psalm 9:17-20; Psalm 10:16-18; Psalm 11:6-7; Psalm 17:13-15; Psalm 20:8; Psalm 26:9-12; Psalm 31:23; Psalm 32:10-11; Psalm 34:21-22; Psalm 35:26-28; Psalm 36:10-12; Psalm 37:38-40; Psalm 40:15-17; Psalm 50:22-23; Psalm 52:5-9; Psalm 55:22-23; Psalm 58:10-11; Psalm 63:10-11; Psalm 64:9-10; Psalm 73:27-28; Psalm 104:33-35; Psalm 112:9-10; Psalm 126:5; Psalm 149:9.) the Old Testament exhibits the opposite lots of the righteous and the wicked, so here the prophet speaks of the Day of Judgment, in reference to the two opposite classes, of which he had before spoken, the proud and evil doers, and the fearers of God. The title, “the Sun of Righteousness,” belongs to both comings, “in the first, lie diffused rays of righteousness, whereby He justified and daily justifies any sinners whatever, who will look to Him, i. e., believe in Him and obey Him, as the sun imparts light; joy and life to all who turn toward it.” In the second, the righteousness which He gave, lie will own and exhibit, cleared from all the misjudgment of the world, before men and Angels. Yet more, healing is, throughout Holy Scripture, used of the removal of sickness or curing of wounds, in the individual or state or Church, and, as to the individual, bodily or spiritual.
So David thanks God, first for the forgiveness Psalm 103:3-5, “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities;” then for healing of his soul, “Who healeth all thy diseases;” then for salvation, “Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;” then for the crown laid up for him, “Who crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies;” then, with the abiding sustenance and satisfying joy, “Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things.” Healing then primarily belongs to thin life, in which we are still encompassed with infirmities, and even His elect and His saints have still, whereof to be healed. The full then and complete healing of the soul, the integrity of all its powers will be in the life to come. There, will be “understanding without error, memory without forgetfulness, thought without distraction, love without simulation, sensation without offence, satisfying without satiety, universal health without sickness.” “For through Adam‘s sin the soul was wounded in understanding, through obscurity and ignorance; in will, through the leaning to perishing goods; as concupiscent, through infirmity and manifold concupiscence. In heaven Christ will heal all these, giving to the understanding light and knowledge; to the will, constancy in good; to the desire, that it should desire nothing but what is right and good. Then too the healing of the seal will be the light of glory, the vision and fruition of God, and the glorious endowments consequent thereon, overstreaming all the powers of the soul and therefrom to the body.” “God has made the soul of a nature so mighty, that from its most full beatitude, which at the end of time is promised to the saints, there shall overflow to the inferior nature, the body, not bliss, which belongs to the soul as intelligent and capable of fruition, but the fullness of health that is, the vigorousness of incorruption.”
And ye shall go forth - , as from a prison-house, from the miseries of this lifeless life, and grow up, or perhaps more probably, bound as the animal, which has been confined, exults in its regained freedom, itself full of life and exuberance of delight. So the Psalmist Psalm 149:5, “The saints shall exult in glory.” And our Lord uses the like word, as to the way, with which they should greet persecution to the utmost, for His Name‘s sake. Swiftness of motion is one of the endowments of the spiritual body, after the resurrection; as the angels, to whom the righteous shall be like, Luke 20:36, Ezekiel 1:14 ran and returned as the appearance of a flash of lightning.”
How strongly and brightly shines the mercy and lovingkindness of God in His dealings toward His heritage.... All heaven has the deepest interest in our welfare, that Satan shall not control us and conform us to his character. “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 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 of the stall” (Malachi 4:1, 2).... TDG 123.4Read in context »
The wheat develops “first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.” The object of the husbandman in the sowing of the seed and the culture of the growing plant is the production of grain. He desires bread for the hungry, and seed for future harvests. So the divine Husbandman looks for a harvest as the reward of His labor and sacrifice. Christ is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts of men; and He does this through those who believe in Him. The object of the Christian life is fruit bearing—the reproduction of Christ's character in the believer, that it may be reproduced in others. COL 67.1
The plant does not germinate, grow, or bring forth fruit for itself, but to “give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater.” Isaiah 55:10. So no man is to live unto himself. The Christian is in the world as a representative of Christ, for the salvation of other souls. COL 67.2
There can be no growth or fruitfulness in the life that is centered in self. If you have accepted Christ as a personal Saviour, you are to forget yourself, and try to help others. Talk of the love of Christ, tell of His goodness. Do every duty that presents itself. Carry the burden of souls upon your heart, and by every means in your power seek to save the lost. As you receive the Spirit of Christ—the Spirit of unselfish love and labor for others—you will grow and bring forth fruit. The graces of the Spirit will ripen in your character. Your faith will increase, your convictions deepen, your love be made perfect. More and more you will reflect the likeness of Christ in all that is pure, noble, and lovely. COL 67.3Read in context »
We need the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in order to discern the truths in God's word. The lovely things of the natural world are not seen until the sun, dispelling the darkness, floods them with its light. So the treasures in the word of God are not appreciated until they are revealed by the bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness. COL 113.1
The Holy Spirit, sent from heaven by the benevolence of infinite love, takes the things of God and reveals them to every soul that has an implicit faith in Christ. By His power the vital truths upon which the salvation of the soul depends are impressed upon the mind, and the way of life is made so plain that none need err therein. As we study the Scriptures, we should pray for the light of God's Holy Spirit to shine upon the word, that we may see and appreciate its treasures. COL 113.2Read in context »
The light of the Sun of Righteousness is to shine forth in good works—in words of truth and deeds of holiness. COL 416.1
Christ, the outshining of the Father's glory, came to the world as its light. He came to represent God to men, and of Him it is written that He was anointed “with the Holy Ghost and with power,” and “went about doing good.” Acts 10:38. In the synagogue at Nazareth He said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18, 19. This was the work He commissioned His disciples to do. “Ye are the light of the world,” He said. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14, 16. COL 416.2
This is the work which the prophet Isaiah describes when he says, “Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily; and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.” Isaiah 58:7, 8. COL 417.1Read in context »