Last chapter of the old testament. It’s not completely bleak, more like 85%. But the idea is that the people of God blew it. Adam blew it. They were made great, bought low, pruned and replanted, turned over new leaf after new leaf. Still they do not revere god in the main, just a few do. Their religion is hollow, grudging and insincere. Messiah needed.
It talks again of the day, when the fire will burn, or the sun will shine and heal, depending on your heart.
There is an encouragement again to keep the law. Then the last verses speak of Elijah coming. Presumably is some sort of Messiah prediction, or John the Baptist, who was like an Elijah.
The unsettling gentle / terrible shifts that have characterised this book continue to the last verse. On that day there will be tender healing between parent and child … heavenly or earthly, these are the ones who have kept faithful. For the rest complete destruction.
It’s easy to forget that this is in the teaching if Jesus too. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. It’s good for some, but a terrible downfall for others. He will separate the sheep and the goats.
There is an urgency, a vividness to the message which is also hard to remember as our brief span on earth starts to feel long in the living of it.