The people of God wanted God to confront rebellious sinners, and they didn’t realize that effort would include them. It is easy to be disgusted with others’ sins while justifying our own.
17 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?”
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; and 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 fullers’ soap. 3 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.4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
5 “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.
God Confronts (2:17)
- When God fails to meet our expectations in how He responds to others, we set our opinions over His judgments.
- There’s a difference between questioning God’s methods and criticizing them.
God Comes (3:1)
- The fact that God had to send a messenger to clear the path revealed that His people hadn’t removed every hindrance to encounter Him.
- God’s people longed for a King to conquer outsiders, but instead, Jesus came as Lord to confront insiders.
God Purifies (3:2-4)
- The people were too unclean to stand before the Lord, so He cleansed them Himself.
- The Refiner’s job is incomplete until the filth is burned away, and His reflection is restored through the fire.
God Testifies (3:5)
- Every sin will be accounted for, and every sinner will be dealt with in God’s perfect timing.
- We often want God to confront the sins around us but not the sins within us.
- God, forgive me for the disgust I have for others’ sins while attempting to justify my own wretched disobedience.