Malachi 3: 1-3
Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the LORD, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.
But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
Soap is both an ordinary and a luxurious thing.
We use it every day to wash up, but sometimes special soaps are things of luxury: fine milled and impregnated with perfume. A bar of soap will wash away the dust and dirt of the day, and sanitize our hands from germs we might have picked up. It is reassuring to be able to clean up with some soap and warm water…. the same way God applies cleansing to our minds and hearts. In the scripture passage the Lord is referred to as like a strong type of alkali soap that was used for making wool textiles as white as possible. The Fuller cleaned the impurities from the wool cloth.
When John the Baptist came, he was to be a messenger to prepare people’s hearts for the coming of the Messiah. Such preparation is a very important thing in making our hearts ready to receive the truths and in dwelling presence of God. Can we take time today to present ourselves for some “washing up”?
We can bring ourselves to the Lord today to allow Him to clean our hearts of impurity and those things which cause deterioration of our souls. Like the washing up with a pleasant smelling soap, it can be a renewing and good feeling to be prepared for a “New Day”. Today we can get ready for Christ to fill our hearts more completely, or perhaps for the first time. Let’s get ready for the coming of our Savior, and allow the Holy Spirit to apply the Word and to wash our minds and hearts.
…let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
When I was a child I used to sometimes carve soap. You need a bar of soap, an idea of what you want to sculpt, and a sharp carving tool. I used my Dad’s wood carving tool, though some people use exacto knives. I think you could make cute snowmen without too much trouble, if you had a mind to. Ivory soap would be perfect for that.
Did you know making soap and candles is very similar? Making your own.
At the time Jesus came, the Bible’s prophecies spoke of His coming in two ways, which we now know as two different comings. He came first to bring salvation and mercy, and He will come again as Victorious King and Righteous Judge. Which coming do you think is spoken of in the Malachi passage? Or do you think it speaks of both?
The Jesse tree ornament for today represents the flood of Noah and the promise in the rainbow. The flood cleansed the world of the wickedness of men, but God promised that would never again happen… He sent His Son to cleanse men from their sins so that they should not be judged and destroyed.
We can thank God today for the new minds, the resting place for the pure Word.
Sing the carol, “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear”