A Severe Mercy – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis Almquist

Malachi 3:1-5

The prophet Malachi could not be using more extreme language. The messenger for the Messiah will come “like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap.”

  • A refiner’s fire is a metallurgy process dating back to antiquity. A refiner’s fire is a crucible that heats precious metal, like gold and silver, to a molten state from which the dross – the impurities – are skimmed off. It is a searing process that yields the pure, precious metal.[i]
  • The fullers were the launderers. Fuller’s soap is a caustic cleansing agent, made from lye and other repugnant chemicals.[ii] Fuller’s soap was used to purify fabric and make it white. The fullers stamped on garments with their feet or used wooden bats in tubs of this blanching soap. The stench from this soap was so great that the fullers had to work outside the city walls of Jerusalem.

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A Severe Mercy – Br. Curtis Almquist

Br. Curtis AlmquistMalachi 3:1-5

The prophet Malachi – whom we heard in our first lesson – could not be using more extreme language to prepare us for the coming Messiah. Our messenger comes “like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap.”

  • A refiner’s fire is a metallurgy process dating back to antiquity. A refiner’s fire is a crucible for heating precious metal, like gold and silver, to a molten state, from which then the dross – the impurities – are skimmed off. It’s a searing process, at a precise temperature for a specific length of time, which produces the pure, precious metal.
  • The fullers were the launderers. Fuller’s soap is a caustic cleansing agent, made from lye and other repugnant chemicals.[i] Fuller’s soap was used to purify fabric and make it white. The stench from this soap was so great that the fullers had to work outside the Jerusalem city walls as they stamped on garments with their feet or used wooden bats in tubs of this blanching soap.

Read More