Advent 2015 02: Refiner's Fire and Fuller's Soap
by Tim Suttle
Over the course of thousands of years God called a people out of the nations, and formed them in his own image. Part of how God did this was that anytime his people encountered the natural pains of life, God walked with them so that the pain of life wouldn’t wreck them, but would make them stronger, more faithful, more beautiful, and ultimately more able to bear the image of God to the surrounding world. This seems to be what Malachi has in mind in our passage for today.
Malachi 3: 1-4
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 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.