The very last written OT promise to the nation of Israel is found in the book of Malachi. It is followed by roughly 400 years of prophetic silence, until a carpenter’s son shows up on the scene to turn the world upside down. It’s kind of a “Father’s Day” prophecy for us today.
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction” (Malachi 4:5-6)
In the NT, we learn John the Baptist came as a fulfillment of this prophecy (Luke 1:17). But there are also compelling reasons to believe there is a final “end times” Elijah that will be the complete fulfillment of this prophecy (Revelation 11:3-12).
Regardless, this prophecy hits at the root of the matter with an axe hammer. Our current cultural issues (or you could say “curse”) with absent parenting, abandonment, and child abuse all stem from the same fount: It’s a heart issue. All sins are.
Whether by overt acts of abuse, subversive attitudes of disappointment, or neglectful abandonment. Apart from a turning of heart, all father’s are susceptible to these sins.
Children are not entirely innocent. This promise would apply to rebellious younger children, neglectful older children and children embittered by what they perceived as a rough childhood. Malachi states children must have a turning of the heart too towards their parents, regardless of the parents past sins toward them.
If we want to see a revival in this nation, we must start with a reviving of families. It will start with broken families being broken and repentant before one another.
I long for the day when God fully restores broken families. I long for the day when boys with beards see freedom not in the context of abandoning their family, but only in the freedom found in Christ and abandoning their sinful proclivity to not “man up”. True freedom that breaks every curse, and makes them the fathers, husbands, and children that can revive a nation.
Do it in my family, Lord, start with me first and my two little boys, Josiah and Gideon.