One the of hardest moments for those of us who are trying to live God’s way comes when those who couldn’t care less about God’s way end up coming out ahead in life. What’s the point in righteous living, if the unrighteous are the ones getting ahead in life?
That’s exactly where God’s people were in Malachi’s day. They’d come back from exile with fervor and resolve to dedicate themselves to living for God. But things didn’t turn out like they’d hoped. It seemed like the ungodly nations around them were prospering, and God kept letting them get away with it!
And so, they began to give up hope that living God’s way was worth it. Why lead a godly life, when the ungodly seem to be the ones getting ahead?
It’s not just God’s people in Malachi’s day who need an answer to this question. We need to hear God’s voice on this issue as well.
In this sermon from Malachi 2:17–3:5, we’ll explore three main points:
1) Wearisome Waiting
Today’s mercies do not negate tomorrow’s justice.
Just because we are bearing with patience the sins of this world… doesn’t mean justice will never come.
Justice is calling and His name is Jesus. For the God of justice shall come to His own. And the great and awesome day of the Lord will be at hand.
And when He shows up, His will be a purifying presence.
2) Purifying Presence
Messiah will purify the heart of covenant worship.
When the Lord comes, He shall purify His temple, the priesthood, and the offerings. No more defiled sacrifices. No more faithless priests. No more corrupt worship.
This is why when Jesus cleanses the temple in Matthew 21, Mark 11, Luke 19, and John 2 it is a massively big deal. Jesus walks into the temple like he owns the place and starts setting things to rights. He comes suddenly to his temple! Like a refiner’s fire…blazing and consuming. Like a fullers’ soap…caustic and cleansing. He comes to purify the heart of covenant worship.
It was all foretold right here in Malachi! And on the heels of his Purifying Presence will come His jarring justice.
3) Jarring Justice
In Jesus, God ended evil without ending us. And Malachi is hinting at the day when…
The Lord will end injustice without ending us.
God found a way to purge the dross of our injustice and keep us for Himself as gold. In Jesus, God found a way to scourge the stain of our sin and keep us for Himself as a garment clean and whole.
Takeaway: Our only hope to stand in Christ alone.