“Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”
The prophet Malachi has written the words of God, and here he has written another example of the arrogance of man. This is God calling us out for our arrogance.
Israel had its expectations of God just as we do now. They had expectations about what God should or shouldn’t be doing. So when God didn’t meet their expectations they spoke as Malachi has written in these verses.
Mortal expectations were not being met and this leads the Israelites to say, “What’s the point? I’m not getting anything out of this deal so why bother with any of this God stuff?” They speak of their self -serving interest. They are not concerned about others or balance. They say “What is the profit…”, they’re looking for what’s in it for themselves. They wonder, where’s my cut from all this discipline and towing the line. They are treating life as if it’s some kind of business deal.
In verse 15 Malachi writes of their arrogance, their complaints of God not meeting their expectations. Not only are they not getting what they think is their fair share from this deal, others whom they consider unworthy are reaping all the benefits. They demonstrate their arrogance and their covetousness. It shows their lack of respect for God and the balance of the universe.
We do the same thing today. We look for our rewards, our worldly rewards. Why can’t I get that car, boat and huge house that my neighbor has? I work hard and I deserve the same. If my neighbor has it, well then they must be taking my share. And get this, my neighbor isn’t even a nice guy. I’m the best person you’d ever want to meet. I deserve better and who’s going to give it to me?
We covet our neighbor’s possessions and feel that it’s unfair for someone to have more wealth, more worldly stuff than we do. The conclusion is then surmised that there is no justice in the world, there is no balance and there is no God.
Back in the ancient times if you thought this way and really wanted to do something about it, you had to get off your ass and take action. You had either use force or some devious means, but you had to put forth an effort.
Today we have people who prey upon the covetousness of man. They tells us that they will take your fellow man’s possessions and distribute them in a fair and balanced manner. They, not God, understand the balance of the universe and will make it right in their eyes. These people speak now as they did thousands of years ago. They speak the same hard words against the Lord.
‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the Lord of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’
Now the people of today who speak like this promise to bring the balance, but all they are looking for is the profit. There will be no balance, for balance and true justice are not within man’s control, no matter how arrogant we have become.
In verses 16 through 18 Malachi lets us know how this will all play out. For those who fear the Lord, who choose to pursue righteousness and not waste this precious gift of life on worldly matters, they will see. After a lifetime of pursuing righteousness they will understand the balance. They will know the arrogance of man.
Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
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