The Messenger of the Covenant, A Refiner's Fire and A Launderers' Soap - Malachi 3:1-3
THE THOUGHT THAT GOD IS COMING TO MEET WITH US SHOULD HUMBLE US.
THINK OF THIS, THE LORD IS COMING TO US AND WE SHOULD BE PREPARED FOR HIM. BUT HE IS NOT COMING JUST TO VISIT. HE IS COMING TO WORK IN US A WORK THAT ONLY HE CAN DO. THERE IS NO INSTITUTION, PHYLOSOPHY OR HUMAN TRADITION THAT CAN WORK IN US WHAT THE LORD IS GOING TO WORK IN US.
MALACHI 3 NEW KING JAMES VERSION (NKJV)
THE COMING MESSENGER
3 “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 [a]purge them as gold and silver, That they may offer to the Lord An offering in righteousness.
God has sent His messenger to prepare the way for the Lord. The Lord is coming to us. We must prepare to receive Him. We always prepare to receive anyone, no matter how common or how important they are. We can be embarrassed if we are not prepared to receive the person that is coming to visit us: at work, at home or anywhere else. Then, are we prepared to meet the Lord?
How do you prepare to meet the Lord? How should our house be cleaned? What does He like to eat, drink? God tells us how to prepare. Make right the way between us and the Lord. Repent, make things right with your brother and your sister. Live holy, in obedience to the word of the Lord. Do not fake it. Do it daily, from the inside out. Be born again. Have your sinful nature changed by God’s Holy Spirit. The opportunity is been given, take it and meet your Lord.
But what after we meet Him? Why is the Lord coming to us? Malachi calls the coming Lord as the Messenger of the covenant (verse 1), that He is like a refiner’s fire and like a launderers’ soap (verse 2), so that we may offer the Lord an offering of righteousness (verse 3). Why is the Lord coming to us? To establish a covenant with those who are refined from their spiritual impurities, cleansed from their sin so that these can offer an offering of righteousness to the Lord.
The Lord is not coming just to meet us, just to say hello. We have no relationship with the Lord. The sin in us separates us from God. In fact, we are the enemy of God since we have chosen sin over obedience. Sinful living over a life of holiness. Yet the Lord wants to establish a covenant with us. A legal relationship where we are His people and He is our God. But first we must be cleansed of our sin. We must be separated from sin and we must come into obedience with God.
Malachi tells us that He has come to us as a fire, a fire that refines. The Lord has come as a refiner’s fire, an intense fire that purifies metal. It melts the metal so that it can be separated from the dross, the deleterious material, foreign to the purity of the original metal. To separate the metal from all other substances. To isolate the metal so that it may have its true value.
We are that precious metal. Our value comes from God. It is not in us, but it is from God. God made us for holy living. When we live holy, we are precious. Sinful men and women are of no value to other men or women or to God. Ask anyone who has suffered lies from husband or wife, children or employers, pastors or leaders, are these appreciated by anyone? No, you can do without the liars, cheaters, adulterers, thieves, murderers and all that bring shame and dishonor to themselves and to those around them. Ask anyone what is valued in anyone and they will say, well, he is truthful, she is trustworthy, they are honest, this person nurtures and brings life wherever she is, that is why I like her, that is why I like him.
This person’s worth comes from the way he or she lives. Invariable, the way that these live is in conformance with God’s word. They fear God and they honor God’s word in their lives. God is brought praise by the way they live. He or she lives as if God is real, as if God is there watching, as if God is going to bless him or her for her obedience. However, sin in us, causes us to live as if there is no God, as if He is not there, as if He is not watching, as if God does not punish those who sin. Jesus Christ has come to purify us from sin, to cleanse us from all sinful behavior, to regenerate in us the holy nature we must have. Jesus has come to separate sin from us.
To know Jesus, to have Jesus in our lives is to be separated from sin. He is the refiners fire. He is the launderer’s soap. There is not another reason for Jesus birth. Jesus did not leave His throne in glory and take on human form to give us things that in one way or another can be attained humanly. He left His glory and died on the cross, experienced death that we who are sinners can be cleansed from sin, so that we could be purified for God, so that we should not die eternally and reign along with Jesus in glory.
None of us can withstand His holiness. We cannot stand before Him and or alongside Him as if we and Him were of the same nature, holy. Our conscience would accuse us, all of us, without exception of one, our sins would confront us. Our only alternative is to humble ourselves before Him and repent from our sins. To ask Him to refine the sin out of us, to cleanse us, to pardon us from sin and to create in us a new nature, a holy nature acceptable to God in heaven. Again, we cannot do it on our own, no preacher can form it in us, no institution can institute it within us, it can only be done through Jesus sacrifice on the cross. Only the blood of Jesus can pay for our sins and satisfy God’s wrath against our sin. Only Jesus death can stand for our death and only Jesus resurrection can give us life, life eternal.
You and I were not created to be workers, to be professionals, to be sons or daughters, husbands or wives, to be rich or poor, to be known, famous or unknown and common. We were created to bring glory to God. We are here, as Malachi 3:3 tells us, to offer the Lord and offering in righteousness. You and I were made for worship, not the worship of things, not the worship of mother nature, not the worship of ourselves or others, not the worship of any sort of idol. We were made for God’s worship. No soul is complete until He or she has become a worshiper of the one true God. No one is complete until they have become a worshiper in spirit and in truth.
You can be the best worker in the world, the best professional in your profession, the best son or daughter, husband or wife, the richest and most famous person on earth, but if you have not become a worshipper of God you will always be unfulfilled. On the other hand, average people with average lives according to the standards of this world are the most fulfilled people when they become worshipers in spirit and in truth. These get up in the morning thanking God for life and for what is ahead, they ask God for wisdom to live as light in the midst of darkness, they look for every opportunity to witness personally and by practice that God exists. As they are about to go to sleep, they pray God take care of them and theirs, that God protect them from that which is beyond their capabilities, and they pray that God’s will be done rather than theirs.
Is this how you live. If so, Jesus has separated you from sin, from this world and has created in you a new creation. He has cleansed you from sin and you have found your true reason for being, the worship of God. The Lord has established a covenant with you. The Lord is your God and you have become a part of His people.
If this is not you, you have heard God’s call. Let Jesus refine you, cleanse you from sin. Let Jesus separate you from this world and from its current of sin so that you may come into your true form, that of a worshiper that honors God through a life of obedience and holy living. I am not talking about singing in church. I am talking about living holy for God and before men. Would you hear God’s voice and let Jesus purify you? Come and be separated from sin for God so that you may become precious as silver, precious as gold, precious in the sight of God bringing glory to Him daily through everything you do. Come into covenant with God, become a part of His people and accept God as your God.