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Summary: The people of Malachi’s day 1)’Want the blessing’ but 2)’Need the fire’, and the refining is a call to 3)’Change your attitude’.

The refiner¡¦s Fire. Malachi 2:17-3:15 WBC 11/7/4pm

WANT THE BLESSING

Find it strange that, at the end of series on minor prophets and Daniel- I am back where I started

- with the fire. In the refining fire

Find it from God that after last Sun pm¡¦s word about the ¡¥refining fire bringing the anointing¡¦- here it is, right before me!

3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.

Here¡¦s the situation in this passage:

- they weren¡¦t all bad, these guys!

- They were seeking God. They ¡¥wanted the blessing¡¦

o 3:1 ¡¥the Lord you are seeking¡¦

But they were very concerned that it wasn¡¦t happening.

- That the Lord was ¡¥rejecting their offering¡¦, and there was no sign of His blessing

o 1;10 ¡¥I will accept no offerings from your hands¡¦

- that there was no point in serving God¡K it made no difference

o 3:14 ¡¥it is futile to serve God¡¦

Does that sound familiar? Have you ever been at that point?

- you¡¦re not being honest if you say you haven¡¦t

- ¡K or you¡¦ve lived a charmed life¡K or a short one!

You FEEL like you¡¦ve sought God¡K done what is right

- but all it¡¦s done is made it tough for you

- in fact: ¡¥evildoers prosper¡¦, they get the better deal

o 2:17 ¡§all who do evil are good in the eyes of the Lord, and He is pleased with them¡¨

Illustr: couple who ¡¥refrain¡¦ before marriage- but then it¡¦s a real disaster when they do come together.

- person completely honest at work and DOESN¡¦T get promotion because of it

-

This is a problem for the psalmist.

- read ps 73, some time.

o What¡¦s the point, God? The wicked get away with everything and I¡¦m WORSE off for serving you

„X (but in the end God sets the record straight)

That¡¦s how it feels for these guys. And, truth is, it¡¦s not an ace time for them

- about 450BC. About time of Nehemiah¡¦s 2nd trip- so walls still being rebuilt

And they THINK that they¡¦ve done right. They offer sacrifices. They give to God. But no blessing

And so- they feel hard done by and God gets the blame.

- no anointing. No blessing. Evildoers doing fine¡K ¡§so, almighty, eternal, omniscient, creator God- you don¡¦t love us and you¡¦ve got it wrong¡¨

God answers, and He says you:

NEED THE FIRE

God explains- there¡¦s a reason why it¡¦s ¡¥not happening¡¦¡K and you need to be refined to see it

The God you seek (the Messiah, really, here) is going to come- and He¡¦ll come like a refiners fire and launderers soap-

- and bring to light the things that need to be changed¡K so ¡§Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness¡¨

But who can stand the day of His coming (3:2)

- do you, like me, SAY you want the Lord¡K but are you prepared for the consequences of His coming?

o and what he¡¦ll change¡K show up¡K burn away?

Well- the good news is: he¡¦s coming anyway, as we¡¦ve given Him permission to (and He¡¦s said he will)

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