Malachi 3:2-4 (NIV): “But who can endure the coming 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. 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 the days gone by, as in former years.”
Whew! This passage of Scripture activates a flood of other Scriptures like the rapid fire of a gatling gun. Hahaha! Allow me to clarify that a bit. The gatling gun of 1862 fired about 200 rounds per minute. Our modern equivalent, the Vulcan, fires off about 6,000 rounds per minute.
For sober judgment I lean on Romans 12:3a: “For by the grace given me I say to everyone of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought.”
Biblical history and American history have this in common; There is definitely ugliness in our history. In the Old Testament book of Judges, starting with Chapters 3 through 16, reveals the depravity of ugliness even among the Levites who were the priests of Israel.
The Levites were supposed to steer the people away from idolatry toward the worship of God, teaching them right from wrong. Perhaps you will notice, as I did, some of the parallels between their past and our present.
During their time there was no divine standard. Everyone, even the Levites, were operating in a state of apathy and apostasy. Oliver Wendell Holmes had a quote, “Learn from the mistakes of others… . You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”
I guess what brings that quote to mind is the verse from Malachi 3: “For He will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap and purifier of silver.”
Hardships, tragedies of sorrow and loss, burdens and these others, whether health, finance, or poor decisions, are like salmon swimming the oceans and streams of life trying not to get netted or snagged.
A rough quote I vaguely remember: “We’d like to think that people in general, as in generations, that we’re learning from our mistakes and are getting better. But with all I’ve seen — I doubt it!”
Or how about this one? “Your mistakes aren’t learning experiences if you aren’t learning from
I guess what’s driving me in this article is pondering the idea of being refined like “gold and silver.” When something bad happens, you have three choices: You can let it define you, let it destroy you or you can let it strengthen you. I don’t remember where I heard that, but after having enough life challenges it has stayed with me.
Have you heard this quote before?
“I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:
Because in doing so I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me
Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.
I shared that in a sermon once, then told them where it was found: The response I got was, “We’re not all alcoholics.” The response from my friend Paul, “No but we’re all in recovery from sin.”
I’m convinced that all the challenges and changes serve the Lord’s purpose of refining us. Yes, I also don’t care for the process. If I may share this Scripture as an encouragement: Psalm 12:5-6: “Because of the oppression of the weak and groaning of the needy, ‘I will now arise,’ says the Lord. ‘I will protect them from those who malign them.’ And the words of the Lord are flawless like silver refined in a furnace of clay, purified seven times.”
May each of us be blessed today and the days ahead.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.