SITTING WITH THE SILVERSMITH
Lord, I am before you now. Let me experience the stirrings of your Spirit, drawing me to pursue your righteousness and to know your deliverance,
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.
ReflectI wonder what you feel when you read the statement: ‘You have wearied the Lord with your words’ (Malachi 2:17).
My response to these words is also to ask: ‘How have we wearied him?’
Looking out at our world today – where refugees are turned away, young children are trafficked for the sexual exploits of others, where those who live on the margins of society, the homeless, the disabled, the old and vulnerable are disregarded and given little value – I think Malachi would still be saying to us: ‘You have wearied the Lord.’
The people of Israel had forgotten God’s character and heart for justice. It was easy to look at surrounding nations prospering, without noticing their own behavior (v 17). Despite their grumbling, God doesn’t give up on them. In response to Malachi’s prophecy of a messenger who would prepare the way for the Messiah (v 1; Mark 1:2), there is also a challenge for God’s people to be prepared, for their lives to be refined and purified (vs 2,3).
Refining silver is a delicate and painstaking process. The silversmith sits, attentively watching the molten metal in the furnace until all impurities have gone and he can see his reflection in the blemish-free metal. God comes not to destroy, but to purify, and when we choose to sit with the Silversmith, God patiently refines and restores us, until we reflect the likeness of Jesus in our own lives and communities.
Sit with the Silversmith. Allow him to gently restore you. Ask him where your life needs refining today.
Mighty God, I am not sufficient for these things. Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me as only you can do.
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