Purify and Purge

Malachi 2:17-3:7 (NKJV)

17 You have wearied the Lord with your words;

“Yet you say,

“In what way have we wearied Him?”

In that you say,

“Everyone who does evil

Is good in the sight of the Lord,

And He delights in them,”

Or, “Where is the God of justice?”

This third disputation evolves with the people responding to the Lord’s accusations with the question “In what way have we wearied Him?”  Then the Lord responds with the indictment that they call evil good.  This general accusation speaks to the unfortunate situation in Judah: people have turned from the true and right understanding of truth and have created a wrong and false system of morality.  The time that a nation or people turn from God and create their own sense of truth is the time that God will oppose their actions and judge them as apostate.  Do not take your life and future into your own hands.  Don’t fool around with false gods.  Stay true to the one True God.  

3:1 “Behold, I send My messenger,

And he will prepare the way before Me.

And the Lord, whom you seek,

Will suddenly come to His temple,

Even the Messenger of the covenant,

In whom you delight.

Behold, He is coming,”

Says the Lord of hosts.

2 “But who can endure the day of His coming?

And who can stand when He appears?

For He is like a refiner’s fire

And like launderers’ soap.

3 He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver;

He will purify the sons of Levi,

And purge them as gold and silver,

That they may offer to the Lord

An offering in righteousness.

4 “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem

Will be pleasant to the Lord,

As in the days of old,

As in former years.

5 And I will come near you for judgment;

I will be a swift witness

Against sorcerers,

Against adulterers,

Against perjurers,

Against those who exploit wage earners and widows and orphans,

And against those who turn away an alien—

Because they do not fear Me,”

Says the Lord of hosts.

Malachi continues the discussion of the charge of God against Judah in 2:17, where He rebukes them for wearying Him with their idolatry.  He answers this disputation (“In what way have we wearied Him?”) with His response here in 3:1-5.  Where is the God of justice?  He is sending His messenger to prepare the way before Him.  The Lord will then come to His temple, and no one will be able to endure His coming.  He will cleanse and refine, purifying the Levites and priests of their sinful practices and restoring right worship.  Temple worship will be righteous and pleasant to God again as it once was.  Those who live in sin, however (sorcerers, adulterers, perjurers, oppressors, bigots), will be judged by God.  

In this passage, the disputation of the people is answered by God’s pronouncement that He will purify the priesthood and purge the people of sinful lifestyles and practices.  Seek God today for His purifying presence and clean up your own house with the help of the Holy Spirit.  God looks for Godliness in His kingdom and in His people.  Be holy and be blessed!

Artwork from https://www.theodysseyonline.com/malachi-33-meaning

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