3 1 " Behold , I am going to send My messenger , and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord , whom you seek , will suddenly come to His temple ; and the messenger of the covenant , in whom you delight , behold , He is coming ," says the Lord of hosts . 2 "But who can endure the day of His coming ? And who can stand when He appears ? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap . 3 "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver , and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver , so that they may present to the Lord offerings in righteousness . 4 "Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years . 5 "Then I will draw near to you for judgment ; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers and against the adulterers and against those who swear falsely , and against those who oppress the wage earner in his wages , the widow and the orphan , and those who turn aside the alien and do not fear Me," says the Lord of hosts .
The Payment of Tithes
6 "For I, the Lord , do not change ; therefore you, O sons of Jacob , are not consumed .
7 "From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the Lord of hosts . "But you say , 'How shall we return ?' 8 "Will a man rob God ? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say , 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings . 9 "You are cursed with a curse , for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! 10 " Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse , so that there may be food in My house , and test Me now in this ," says the Lord of hosts , "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows e . 11 "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground ; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says the Lord of hosts . 12 " All the nations will call you blessed , for you shall be a delightful land ," says the Lord of hosts .
The Distinction between the Righteous and the Wicked
13 "Your words have been arrogant against Me," says the Lord . "Yet you say , 'What have we spoken against You?' 14 "You have said , 'It is vain to serve God ; and what profit is it that we have kept His charge , and that we have walked in mourning before e the Lord of hosts ? 15 'So now we call the arrogant blessed ; not only are the doers of wickedness built up but they also test God and escape .' " 16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another , and the Lord gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who esteem His name . 17 "They will be Mine," says the Lord of hosts , "on the day that I prepare My own possession , and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him." 18 So you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked , between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.