You have wearied the LORD with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
“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; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 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 fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the LORD as in the days of old and as in former years.
“Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts.
Comment: You must have a wacky view of God to be able to say that He counts evil as good or to think very highly of yourself to stand in judgement of His justice. But that is what theJews of that day did. So God says that He will send two messengers. Reading the gospels it appears that John the Baptist was the first who talked about the coming of the second, Jesus. the promised Messiah. This passage doesn’t make much sense without having a broader understanding of the Messiah. He came as a baby, grew up and was crucified and rose again to be the Saviour of those who accept Him. But having risen into heaven He will come back as Judge. His involvement in our daily lives also gives God a chance to influence and cleanse our lives in the present era and He does that with trials and situations to cause us to repent and to grow. This message describes that His judgement is to be like silver being refined in a furnace. The temperatures required are nearly 1,000 degrees centigrade. Or to materials, mainly wool, being cleaned with Fuller’s soap. This is not a sweet smelling soft gentle soap but a harsh alkaline salt soap, rough on human skin, used to bring the material to finest whiteness and to give it ‘body’.
Finally God gives a list (I’m sure not a complete list) of things He will seek to cleanse out – those who seek knowledge and power by magic – often black magic; sexual activity outside His prescribed limits; false testimony; oppression of workers; carelessness for the needy; racial injustice; lack of fear for Him, that is putting Him to the side instead of the Centre of our living.
Prayer: Refine me as you see fit, O Lord.