The Promised Messenger
1 I, the Lord All-Powerful,
will send my messenger
to prepare the
way for me.
Then suddenly the Lord
you are looking for
will appear in
The messenger you desire
is coming with my promise,
and he is on his
A Day of Change
2 On the day the Lord comes, he will
be like a furnace that purifies silver or like strong soap in
a washbasin. No one will be able to stand up to him. 3 The Lord
will purify the descendants of Levi, as though they were gold
or silver. Then they will bring the proper offerings to the Lord,
4 and the offerings of the people of Judah and
Jerusalem will please him, just as they did in the past.
Dont Cheat God
- 5 The Lord All-Powerful said:
- Im now on my way to judge you.
And I will quickly condemn all who practice witchcraft or cheat
in marriage or tell lies in court or rob workers of their pay
or mistreat widows and orphans or steal the property of foreigners
or refuse to respect me.
6 Descendants of Jacob, I am the Lord
All-Powerful, and I never change. Thats why you havent
been wiped out, 7 even though you have ignored and disobeyed
my laws ever since the time of your ancestors. But if you return
to me, I will return to you.
And yet you ask, How can we return?
8 You people are robbing me, your God.
And, here you are, asking, How are we robbing you?
You are robbing me of the offerings and
of the ten percent that belongs to me. 9 Thats why your
whole nation is under a curse. 10 I am the Lord All-Powerful,
and I challenge you to put me to the test. Bring the entire ten
percent into the storehouse, so there will be food in my house.
Then I will open the windows of heaven and flood you with blessing
after blessing. 11 I will also stop locusts from destroying your
crops and keeping your vineyards from producing. 12 Everyone
of every nation will talk about how I have blessed you and about
your wonderful land. I, the Lord All-Powerful, have spoken!
13 You have said horrible things about
me, and yet you ask, What have we said?
14 Here is what you have said: Its
foolish to serve the Lord God All-Powerful. What do we get for
obeying him and from going around looking sad? 15 See how happy
those arrogant people are. Everyone who does wrong is successful,
and when they put God to the test, they always get away with
Faithfulness Is Rewarded
- 16 All those who truly respected
the Lord and honored his name started discussing these things,
and when God saw what was happening, he had their names written
as a reminder in his book.
17 Then the Lord All-Powerful said:
- You people are precious to me, and
when I come to bring justice, I will protect you, just as parents
protect an obedient child. 18 Then everyone will once again see
the difference between those who obey me by doing right and those
who reject me by doing wrong.
The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary