“A Challenge Wrapped in a Promise” – Malachi 3:1-18
In these verses Malachi describes the coming Messiah as one who will arrive suddenly and like a refiner’s fire cleanse the physical temple as well as the hearts of the people; starting with the leaders.
In verses 6-12, God accuses his people of robbing him in tithes and offerings.
In verses 10-12, God gives a direct challenge wrapped in a promise; that demands a response.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! ”Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. (Malachi 3:10-12, NLT)
This is a powerful and bold promise on God’s part, but most of us don’t trust Him enough to take him up on it. The reason is that we have not allowed the Refiner’s Fire to cleanse the temple of our heart. We are still full of self-centeredness and self-reliance.
Lord, help us to let your refiner’s fire do the work in our hearts, so we can dare to follow you and trust you on this great adventure.
– Pastor Stephen Floyd, First Church of the Nazarene, Falls City