Malachi 3:1-5

The special person comes as a judge

1 ‘Look! I will send someone to speak my message. He will prepare the way before me. Then the Lord that you are waiting for will quickly return to his temple. The one who brings the message about the covenant will certainly come. He is the one that you really want to see.’

That is what the Lord Almighty says.

2 ‘But when he comes, he will be like a hot fire that makes metal pure. He will be like strong soap that makes clothes completely clean. Nobody will be able to stand in front of him when he appears. On that day, nobody will remain the same. 3 He will work like a man who uses a hot fire to make gold and silver pure. He will make the Levites clean and pure. He will remove their dirt. Then they can offer proper sacrifices to the Lord. 4 The Lord will accept the gifts that the people of Judah and Jerusalem offer to him. He will be happy with them as he was in earlier times.

3:2The purpose of the hot fire is not to destroy the metal but to make it pure. So on this difficult day the Lord will remove from people everything that is not good.

5 At that time, I will come among you as your judge. I will speak clearly against those who have done wrong things. I will punish the magicians, the adulterers and those who tell lies against other people. I will punish those people who are cruel to their workers, or they deceive widows or children who have no parents. And I will punish those who do not help foreigners who live among them. People who do those things show that they do not respect me.’

That is what the Lord Almighty says.