Thank You, Sovereign Lord, for Your work in my life.
Read Malachi 2:17 – 3:5
Breaking Covenant Through Injustice
17 You have wearied the Lord with your words.
“How have we wearied him?” you ask.
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
3 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.
5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever reflected in wonder on the fact that God has never given up on you?
Most of us find a good tidy-up necessary from time to time. God is no different. He is not prepared to leave things in a mess. Israel may have turned away from God and done their own thing, believing that God did not care about justice (17). But that is not the final word. God breaks in and offers new hope; he will come, a promise ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. John the Baptist prepared the way – first the messenger and then the Lord himself (3:1). Over Christmas we have seen how the fulfillment of this begins as Jesus comes to clear up the mess created by human sin.
God wants a holy people who live by his standards. He knows that we cannot achieve that on our own so in his love he sent Jesus to save us from sin and the Holy Spirit to carry on the work of transformation. Look at verses 3 and 4 to see the outcome. A restored relationship and acceptable worship sound great, but the purifying is not an easy or painless process. And for those who continue in rebellious, self-centered and unjust behavior there are consequences (5).
“Refiner’s fire, / My heart’s one desire / Is to be holy, / Set apart for You, Lord” (Brian Doerksen, 1990). If possible, find a copy of this song and sing it to the Lord today.
Do whatever You need to do to clean my heart. As David prayed, “create in me a clean heart, O God” (Psalm 51:10).