"See, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me.a Then the Lord you seek will suddenly come to His temple, the Messenger of the covenantb you desire-see, He is coming," says the Lord of Hosts.
But who can endure the day of His coming? And who will be able to stand when He appears?c For He will be like a refiner's fired and like cleansing lye.
He will be like a refiner and purifier of silver; He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver.e Then they will present offerings to the Lord in righteousness.
And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will please the Lord as in days of old and years gone by.
"I will come to you in judgment, and I will be ready to witness against sorcerers and adulterers; against those who swear falsely; against those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, and cheat the wage earner; and against those who deny [justice to] the foreigner. They do not fear Me," says the Lord of Hosts.
"Because I, Yahweh, have not changed,f you descendants of Jacob have not been destroyed.g
"Since the days of your fathers, you have turned from My statutes; you have not kept [them].h Return to Me, and I will return to you,"i says the Lord of Hosts. But you ask: "How can we return?"
"Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me!" You ask: "How do we rob You?" "[By not making the payments] of 10 percent and the contributions.j9
You are suffering under a curse, yet you-the whole nation-are [still] robbing Me.
Bring the full 10 percent into the storehouse so that there may be food in My house.k Test Me in this way," says the Lord of Hosts. "See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.l11
I will rebuke the devourerm for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your ground, and your vine in your field will not be barren," says the Lord of Hosts.
"Then all the nations will consider you fortunate, for you will be a delightful land," says the Lord of Hosts.
"Your words against Me are harsh,"n says the Lord. Yet you ask: "What have we spoken against You?"
You have said: "It is useless to serve God. What have we gained by keeping His requirements and walking mournfully before the Lord of Hosts?
So now we consider the arrogant to be fortunate. Not only do those who commit wickedness prosper, they even test God and escape."o16
At that time those who feared the Lord spoke to one another. The Lord took notice and listened. So a book of remembrancep was written before Him for those who feared Yahweh and had high regard for His name.
"They will be Mine," says the Lord of Hosts,q "a special possession on the day I am preparing. I will have compassion on them as a man has compassion on his son who serves him.r18
So you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.