1The Lord who rules over all says, “I will send my messenger. He will prepare my way for me. Then suddenly the Lord you are looking for will come to his temple. The messenger of the covenant will come. He is the one you long for.”
2But who can live through the day when he comes? Who will be left standing when he appears? He will be like a fire that makes things pure. He will be like soap that makes things clean. 3He will act like one who makes silver pure. And he will purify the Levites, just as gold and silver are purified with fire. Then these men will bring proper offerings to the Lord. 4And the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to him. It will be as it was in days and years gone by.
5“So I will come and put you on trial. I will be quick to bring charges against all of you,” says the Lord who rules over all. “I will bring charges against you sinful people who do not have any respect for me. That includes those who practice evil magic. It includes those who commit adultery and those who tell lies in court. It includes those who cheat workers out of their pay. It includes those who treat widows badly. It also includes those who mistreat children whose fathers have died. And it includes those who take away the rights of outsiders in the courts.
Breaking the Covenant by Stealing From God
6“I am the Lord. I do not change. That is why I have not destroyed you members of Jacob’s family. 7You have turned away from my rules. You have not obeyed them. You have lived that way ever since the days of your people of long ago. Return to me. Then I will return to you,” says the Lord who rules over all.
“But you ask, ‘How can we return?’
8“Will a mere human being dare to steal from God? But you rob me!
“You ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“By holding back your offerings. You also steal from me when you do not bring me a tenth of everything you produce. 9So you are under my curse. In fact, your whole nation is under my curse. That is because you are robbing me. 10Bring the entire tenth to the storerooms in my temple. Then there will be plenty of food. Test me this way,” says the Lord. “Then you will see that I will throw open the windows of heaven. I will pour out so many blessings that you will not have enough room to store them. 11I will keep bugs from eating up your crops. And your grapes will not drop from the vines before they are ripe,” says the Lord. 12“Then all the nations will call you blessed. Your land will be delightful,” says the Lord who rules over all.
Israel Speaks With Pride Against the Lord
13“You have spoken with pride against me,” says the Lord.
“But you ask, ‘What have we spoken against you?’
14“You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God. What do we gain by obeying his laws? And what do we get by pretending to be sad in front of the Lord? 15But now we call proud people blessed. Things go well with those who do what is evil. And God doesn’t even punish those who test him.’ ”
Those Who Respect the Lord
16Those who had respect for the Lord talked with one another. And the Lord heard them. A list of people and what they did was written in a book in front of him. It included the names of those who respected the Lord and honored him.
17“The day is coming when I will judge,” says the Lord who rules over all. “On that day they will be my special treasure. I will spare them just as a father loves and spares his son who serves him. 18Then once again you will see the difference between godly people and sinful people. And you will see the difference between those who serve me and those who do not.
13:1 Hes 27:21; 2Nya 36:15; Isa 40:3; 63:9; Mt 11; 10; 3:3; Lk 7:27; Mik 5:2; 1Sam 9:20; Mdo 7:38; Hag 2:7“Angalieni, nitamtuma mjumbe wangu, atakayeiandaa njia mbele yangu. Ndipo ghafula Bwana mnayemtafuta atakuja hekaluni mwake. Mjumbe wa Agano, ambaye mnamwonea shauku, atakuja,” asema Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote.
23:2 Eze 7:7; 22:14; Ufu 6:17; Dan 7:13; Yoe 2:31; Mt 16:27; Yak 5:8; 2Pet 3:4; 1Sam 6:20; Isa 1:31; 30:30; 4:4; Zek 13:9; Mt 3:10-12; Ay 9:30Lakini ni nani atakayeweza kustahimili hiyo siku ya kuja kwake? Ni nani awezaye kusimama atakapotokea? Kwa kuwa atakuwa kama moto wa mfua fedha au kama sabuni ya afuaye nguo. 33:3 Eze 12:10; 1Kor 3:13; 1Nya 23:28; Isa 1:25; Ay 28:1; Za 12:6; 132:9; Ufu 3:18; Zek 13:9; Rum 15:16; 1Pet 2:5Ataketi kama mfuaji na asafishaye fedha. Atawatakasa Walawi, naye atawasafisha kama dhahabu na fedha. Kisha Bwana atakuwa na watu watakaoleta sadaka katika haki, 43:4 2Nya 7:3; 7:12; Za 51:19; Eze 20:40; Mal 1:11nazo sadaka za Yuda na Yerusalemu zitakubalika kwa Bwana, kama katika siku zilizopita, kama katika miaka ya zamani.
53:5 Kut 7:11; 20:14; Yak 2:11; 5:4-9; Isa 1:2; 47:9; 2Pet 2:12-14; Law 19:11-13; Yer 7:9; Yak 5:4; Kut 22:21-22; Kum 24:19; 31:12; Eze 22:7“Basi nitakuja karibu nanyi ili kuhukumu. Nami nitakuwa mwepesi kushuhudia dhidi ya wachawi, wazinzi, waapao kwa uongo, wanaopunja vibarua malipo yao, wanaowaonea wajane na yatima, na wanaowanyima wageni haki, lakini hawaniogopi mimi,” asema Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote.
63:6 Hes 23:19; Ebr 7:21; Yak 1:17; Ay 34:15; Hos 11:9; 1Sam 15:29; Rum 11:29; Mao 3:22“Mimi Bwana sibadiliki. Kwa hiyo ninyi, enyi uzao wa Yakobo, hamjaangamizwa. 73:7 Kut 32:8; Mdo 7:51; Yer 7:26; Isa 44:22; Kum 30:1-4; Isa 55:6-7; Eze 18:32; Yak 4:8; Zek 1:3Tangu wakati wa baba zenu mmegeukia mbali na amri zangu nanyi hamkuzishika. Nirudieni mimi, nami nitawarudia ninyi,” asema Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote.
“Lakini mnauliza, ‘Tutarudi kwa namna gani?’
83:8 Zek 5:3; Law 27:30; Hes 18:21; Neh 13:10-12; Lk 18:12“Je, mwanadamu atamwibia Mungu? Hata hivyo mnaniibia mimi.
“Lakini mnauliza, ‘Tunakuibia kwa namna gani?’
“Mnaniibia zaka na dhabihu. 93:9 Kum 28:15-68; 11:26; Zek 5:3Mko chini ya laana, ninyi taifa lote, kwa sababu mnaniibia mimi. 103:10 Kut 22:29; Neh 13:12; 2Fal 7:2; Isa 44:3; Yoe 2:14, 24; 2Kor 9:8-11; Law 25:21; Mit 3:9; Mwa 7:11; 1Nya 26:29Leteni zaka kamili ghalani, ili kuwe na chakula katika nyumba yangu. Nijaribuni katika hili,” asema Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote, “nanyi mwone kama sitawafungulia madirisha ya mbinguni na kuwamwagieni baraka nyingi mpaka mkose nafasi ya kutosha. 113:11 Kut 10:15; 23:26; Kum 28:39; Amo 4:9Nami kwa ajili yenu nitamkemea yeye alaye, wala hataharibu mazao ya ardhi yenu, wala mzabibu wenu hautapukutisha matunda yake kabla ya wakati wake,” asema Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote. 123:12 Kum 28:3-12; Isa 61:9; 62:4; Eze 20:6; Dan 8:9; 2Nya 31:10“Ndipo mataifa yote yatawaita mliobarikiwa, kwa maana nchi yenu itakuwa ya kupendeza sana,” asema Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote.
133:13 Mal 2:17“Mmesema vitu vigumu dhidi yangu,” asema Bwana.
“Hata hivyo mnauliza, ‘Tumesema nini dhidi yako?’
143:14 Za 73:13; 100:2; Isa 1:14; 57:10; 58:3; Yn 12:26; Rum 12:11; Yos 22:5; Sef 1:12; Ay 21:14“Mmesema, ‘Ni bure kumtumikia Mungu. Tumepata faida gani kwa kushika maagizo yake na kwenda kama waombolezaji mbele za Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote? 153:15 Za 119:21; 14:1; 36:1-2; Yer 7:10; Ay 21:7Lakini sasa wenye kiburi wanabarikiwa. Hakika watenda mabaya wanastawi, pia hata wale wanaoshindana na Mungu ndio wanaosalimika.’ ”
163:16 Za 34:15; 56:8; 87:6; 33:18; Kut 32:32; Lk 10:20; Mit 1:7; Ebr 3:13; Kum 31:12; Ufu 11:18; Mwa 22:12; 1Fal 18:3, 12Ndipo wale waliomcha Bwana wakasemezana wao kwa wao, naye Bwana akasikiliza na akasikia. Kitabu cha kumbukumbu kikaandikwa mbele yake kuhusu wale ambao walimcha Bwana na kuliheshimu jina lake.
173:17 Isa 43:21; 26:20; Kut 8:22; Kum 7:6; Tit 2:14; Neh 13:22; Rum 8:14, 32; Za 103:13; Lk 15:1-32“Nao watakuwa watu wangu,” asema Bwana Mwenye Nguvu Zote, “katika siku ile nitakapowafanya watu kuwa hazina yangu. Nitawahurumia, kama vile kwa huruma mtu amhurumiavyo mwanawe anayemtumikia. 183:18 Mwa 18:25; Kum 32:4; Mt 25:32-33Kwa mara nyingine tena utaona tofauti kati ya wenye haki na waovu, kati ya wale wanaomtumikia Mungu na wale wasiomtumikia.