Daily Prayer Guide: Friday Dec 18

Scripture Reading

Malachi 3:1-4

“See, 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.

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. 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, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.”

Meditation

Malachi, the writer of this passage, was a prophet – one who spoke for God. He lived about 400 years before Christ, and was Israel’s last prophet until John the Baptist came (here, “my messenger, who will prepare the way before me”) to make Israel ready for the ministry of Jesus Christ (here, “the messenger of the covenant”).

The writer speaks about “the day of [Christ’s] coming” – but which coming is he talking about? Jesus’ first coming or his future second coming? Many commentators believe that this prophecy is talking about both at the same time.

Regardless, it’s clear from this passage that Jesus’ coming won’t be all warm fuzzies.  It will bring some serious judgment as God exposes what’s in people’s hearts. Just as Jesus’ first coming revealed our crookedness and made a way for us to be purified in God’s sight, so also His second coming will bring to light what’s truly in human hearts, and will result in God’s fair judgment on all the rights and wrongs in humanity.

Malachi says that Jesus will be like “launderer’s soap.” He will put his people through the “wash cycle” to cleanse them from their impurities and sin. In trusting Christ for our salvation, we have already come out spotlessly clean and white in the sight of God.  In that sense, this passage has already been fulfilled in us.

But the writer also says Jesus will “sit as a refiner and purifier.” In Malachi’s day, refiners of precious metals would get that metal down to its purest form by heating it in a pot over a fire. As the gold or silver would melt, the impurities would be extracted. The refiner would know his work was done when he could look into the pot and see his own image reflected in the molten metal.

This speaks to a powerful truth. As we give our lives over to Jesus, His Spirit is doing a gradual work in us – the work of a refiner. He is patiently tending the fires in our lives, steadily working to purify our hearts, and taking delight as He sees more and more of His own image reflected in us.

Reflection and Prayer
Find a quiet place where you can concentrate.

Ask God to search your heart and show you any impurities – sins that are keeping you from reflecting more of who He is. Then be quiet and listen.

As God brings something to mind:
-Confess it to Him.
-Acknowledge that you’re unable to purify yourself from it.

Written by Hannah Busse

Click here to download Week 3 Prayer Guide: Sun Dec 13-Sat 19

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