The mission of Lamplighter Ministries is “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, by building Christ-like character one story at a time.”
The mission of this ministry is deeply rooted in the truths found in Malachi 4:6 and Luke 1:17. The gospel writer Luke quotes from Malachi 4:6 in his first chapter. His handling of the text is peculiar because he leaves out part of the quote and adds a sentence that changes the entire meaning of Malachi’s text.
In Malachi we read: “To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” In Luke we read: “To turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” The first part of this verse is identical in both passages.
The second part, “turning the hearts of the children to their fathers” is similar to “turning the disobedient to the wisdom of the just.” It appears that Luke is emphasizing that children’s hearts (the disobedient) will turn to their fathers, if their fathers’ hearts become righteous and worthy. The last part of the verse in Malachi, “lest I come and smite the earth with a curse,” has been deleted and new text has been added, thus changing the meaning.
Generally, the New Testament writers will change an Old Testament text to help clarify the intended meaning, but here Luke changes the meaning of the text entirely. Whereas the Old Testament closes out with the word “curse” and a strict warning, the New Testament closes out with hope and an emphasis on grace—“the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all, Amen.”
By Divine design the Old Testament closes in “curse” and the New Testament closes with “grace.” When Luke the physician quotes Malachi 4:6 and removes the curse, I believe he was adding that which is at the heart of Christian discipleship—“making ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Location: Waverly, PA
Contact: Mark Hamby