“He will sit as a refiner and 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.” Malachi 3:3
When I read the book of Malachi, my heart grieves for the Lord because this book is about a corrupt priesthood. The irony!
The people of Israel as a whole were set apart from all the people of the earth for a particular purpose. That purpose was to be a light and an example to the nations. Their holiness and love for a mighty and loving God were to evoke jealousy that would draw nations to God.
As you already know, Israel did not live up to their destiny but rebelled at nearly every opportunity. But within this nation of set-apart ones, there was a microcosm that was called to lead the way in consecration. They were the Levites: the priests.
Y’all, it’s terrible when the priests turn away from holiness!
But God. In His loving-kindness, He determined to purify the priesthood. He resolved to make a way for them to present their offerings in righteousness.
Today, if you are a believer, then you are a priest.
But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
You are a mediator between the lost and unsaved ones and God. You are of those who minister before the Lord in righteousness and holiness. You fulfill the mandate to be a light and an example to nations – drawing them to Jesus, the Desire of All Nations.
Sadly, it is possible for modern-day priests (believers) to be just like those in Malachi’s day. You and I can allow hidden sin to lurk in the shadows of our temple. We can love our sin. We can rebel against God’s perfect ways. And even when we don’t try to, we can fail.
The thing that makes us different is we have the Purifier. We don’t have to wait for Him to come because we live on the backside of His perfect work. We have the fire readily available to us. You must make a choice to allow the purifying and refining to take place, and so do I. Jesus said to Saul, “it’s hard for you to kick against the goads.” (see Acts 9:5)
Goads are things that prod us – push us toward the things we should do. The methods God uses to accomplish His purification are goads. Are you kicking against them or are you embracing them in humility and with joy? You have a choice.
Eventually, all will bow and confess the Lordship of Jesus, but as a believer who has already done that willingly, you now have a responsibility to maintain your temple. You have a mandate to represent God well to those around you, and you have everything necessary to be successful.
Will you join with me, dear one, in coming before the Refiner and Purifier and laying down your resistance? Let’s embrace this gift and be the light to the nations, anxiously expecting His return.
Food for thought:
- Are you kicking against the goads God is prodding you with?
- Is it time to bring some things to the launderer?
- Is anything holding you back from doing that?