Daily Word

Purified Priests| Malachi 3:1-4

1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will prepare and clear the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; 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 launderer’s soap [which removes impurities and uncleanness]. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi [the priests], and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to the Lord [grain] offerings in righteousness. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in ancient years.

Malachi 3:1-4 (AMP)

Time shift

In the first two chapters, Malachi speaks to the present situation at his time in Jerusalem and the sins and neglect among those people – especially the priests. Now he gives prophecy about the future and how God will solve this issue. He will send the Messiah and John the Baptist to prepare the way (Isa. 40:3-5, Matthew 3:3, Luke 1:16-17, Luke 3:4, John 1:23). Notice the Messenger is Messiah is the Lord – a clear indication in the OT that Jesus is God!

Who can bear it?

The Lord, God Himself, is coming. But who can survive when a holy God comes to judge them? He will purify the priests. Two metaphors are used. 1) a refiner melts metal to a high temperature so that the impurities can be removed; 2) soap would remove their uncleanness. The impurities of sin must be extracted completely so pure and proper worship can be offered. This Messenger removes the impurities.

A sobering warning from Spurgeon for nonbelievers today: “[Those seeking salvation] are seeking a fire which will test you, and consume much which has been dear to you. We are not to expect Christ to come and save us in our sins, he will come and save us from our sins; therefore, if you are enabled by faith to take Christ as a Savior, remember that you take him as the purger and the purifier, for it is from sin that he saves us.”

The goal

The goal is so that the purified priests can properly offer proper sacrifices pleasing to the Lord. Though this indeed happens with individuals as a result of Christ’s first advent, it wasn’t at a national (or tribe) level. The purification of the tribe of Levi will happen at His second return and comes with judgment.

Handel’s Messiah Malachi 3:1
Handel’s Messiah Malachi 3:2-3

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