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Malachi 3 - Scrub Behind You Ears

Sometimes God's Word hurts, but even so it ultimately brings comfort.

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Malachi 3 Summary

These last few days we've been reading through a series of disputes God brings regarding His wayward, obstinate people who constantly argue back and question God's righteous judgment.

Chapter three actually opens a few verses earlier in 2:17, where we read that God is literally sick & tired (wearied) of His people who arrogantly call evil good and scoff that God has disappeared.

So God announces His messenger - mǎl·ʾāḵi in Hebrew - has been sent to refine the people with fire and soap (v2). Know that God's Word isn't always meant to be instantly comforting; sometimes it painfully scrubs and even burns away the filth in our lives, and although it may not feel good at the moment, ultimately it brings grace & peace.

One of God's primary accusations is that the people have been robbing Him (v8) by not paying their tithe (the Torah commands Israel to pay a tithe - 10% - of their income, which is far less than pagan kings would tax their people). Certainly our omnipotent Father doesn't need our measly offerings, but paying them is a way we can put God to the test (v10). As God's people show their trust in Him by giving a portion, God has promised to open the windows of heaven (v10) in response.

Finally a glimpse of hope is found at the end of the chapter. God promises that after His Word has finished its scrubbing and burning, His people shall once again be His treasured possession (v17).

Dig Deeper

For I the Lord do not change (v6)

This isn't an overly surprising bit of theology we're given to learn that God is immutable; that is, never changing. In fact, the name He gives to Himself is I AM (Exodus 3:14). He's not 'I used to be' or 'I will be.'

What is surprising in this chapter is how unchanging God's people are. God refers to us as the children of Jacob (v6). In other words, just as Jacob was a lying, cheating scoundrel, so are we. Certainly the cultural particulars of we express this changes through the centuries, but our fallen, sinful natures never change.

It's important that you recognize this about yourself so that you continue to let God's Word scrub you clean even though it sometimes hurts.

AAA Prayer:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father who does not change;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that God's Word will scrub and refine you so your life looks more and more like the One who saved you.




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