“Look! I am sending my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord you are seeking will suddenly come to his Temple. The messenger of the covenant, whom you look for so eagerly, is surely coming,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
“But who will be able to endure it when he comes? Who will be able to stand and face him when he appears? For he will be like a blazing fire that refines metal, or like a strong soap that bleaches clothes. He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord. Then once more the Lord will accept the offerings brought to him by the people of Judah and Jerusalem, as he did in the past. (NLT)
It’s easy to do a couple of things with this passage. It’s easy to get confused, and it’s easy to dismiss this passage as something written for someone else. But, this is written for us, just not to us.
The first messenger that Malachi mentions is John the Baptist. “He will prepare the way before me.” That’s clear. Then, the Lord will appear. This is Jesus, the Messiah. Then, some fear enters in. What if we can’t face the Messiah when He comes? What if His presence is too powerful for us?
I’m intrigued by how the Messiah entered the world. He didn’t come on horseback with guns blazing. He didn’t come in an overwhelming and unbearable fashion. Jesus came in the most innocent way possible, as a baby. No one is afraid of a baby. No one is threatened by a child, except for King Herod.
But, Malachi wasn’t off base in this prophesy. He was hearing right. The Messiah came to save His people and to perfect them. “He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross.” Jesus will remove every impurity from us. He will take away anything that interferes with who He has designed us to be.
Jesus will continue this work until He can clearly see the best version of each of us that He could possibly design. That doesn’t mean we will end up identical like paper dolls on a string. Each of us is unique. Jesus wants to reveal the best part of who we are. In the process, He must remove the lesser parts of who we are.
What “dross” do you see in your life? What are your circumstances revealing about your progress? Right now submit what you are facing to Jesus and ask Him to use it as a tool in your life. Ask Him to make the best version of you.
Copyright © 2009 by Allen White
All Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation. Copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.