Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Old Testament reading from Malachi chapter three speaks to the Lord’s coming as one who purifies. He cleanses what is impure, like a refiner of metal or like the stain remover used in a laundry. Something will have to go, and that something is all which detracts from the purity of God’s kingdom.
It’s very sad when we decide to take matters into our own hands in this regard. On the one hand, we may decide that we will not both with any attempts at holiness. After all, one day, God will come and make everything right. When we fall into this error, we become exactly the people spoken of in verse five, those who engage in various crimes against God because we don’t fear him. In effect, if God’s Word is right, this seals our own death sentence. We have said that God doesn’t matter.
On the other hand, we fall into error when we act as the judge on God’s behalf. We decide to stamp out evil, normally too forcefully, failing to acknowledge God’s loving and redemptive care. Trying to remove the stain from the cloth, we take scissors to it and cut it apart, rather than lifting the stain out.
Let God be God and us humans be humans! We try to pursue and encourage purity, but we realize that our attempts will be moderately successful at best. We know when the Lord comes he will make everything right, but not without refining us. And as we see that time approaching, we strive to recognize the Lord is good and merciful. He will care for his people according to his pleasure, which is for the good of his creation.
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