Jump Start # 3473
Malachi 2:17 “You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, ‘How have we wearied Him?’ In that you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them, “ or, ‘Where is the God of justice?’”
It is in our spirit that we want to believe the best in others. We want to believe down deep in every heart lies a good person. And, our concept of God’s love has colored the way some see life. This was the problem in Malachi’s day.
The second chapter of this final O.T. prophet revealed two major problems. First, they were profaning the sanctuary of God. Rather than leading people to God, the corrupt priests were causing many to stumble. The second problem was that they were divorcing the wife of their youth. God hates divorce, is what the prophet uttered.
The chapter ends with our verse today. Instead of leading wicked people to the Lord, they were saying the evil one is good in the sight of God. If that were true, the evil person would not need to change. Stay the course and keep doing what you are doing. God loves you. God thinks you are awesome. You are good. Such false statements keeps a person from ever changing. While it may make the person feel good, it really doesn’t do them any good.
Now, some lessons for us:
First, there comes a time when we need to speak plainly about things. Nathan the prophet told David, “You are the man.” How courageous that was. When our main goal is to make people feel good, then there will be no room for the call of repentance and change. The Lord declared that all men everywhere ought to repent.
Second, only the Lord can determine what is good and what is right. Not wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings may keep them a close friend, but you are not speaking in behalf of the Lord when you sugar coat something that is wrong. Preachers must face this challenge. We all like to be liked. But there comes a time to speak the truth of God’s word. When the Lord declared that Laodicea was lukewarm, that likely didn’t set well with the people there. It’s easier to change preachers than to change our ways. God’s word, not what you say, or I say, is what makes a person right.
Third, our culture is so afraid of offending someone that the only one who is offended is the Lord. Don’t hurt my feelings and don’t make me cry, has led to accepting things that should never have even been put on the table. Public figures have lost their jobs because they spoke their minds and often times, the truth. Jesus offended people. Many walked away from Jesus. He didn’t run after them. He didn’t apologize. He didn’t promise to change His message. They walked and He let them go. And, where were they going? Back to Satan. Back to being lost. Back to a world of hopelessness and despair.
There will be some who leave church services and never come back. They didn’t like the message. They weren’t catered to and made special. They wanted to be the center and they are not. The message of truth is narrow, restrictive and exclusive. That doesn’t work in our times for most people. They want to live without rules. They want to do what they want and be what they want and still believe that God declares that they are good. That weak message fills church buildings but it doesn’t build faith and it certainly doesn’t please the Lord.
This message, Malachi wrote, “wearied the Lord.” God was tired of it. You can say, “I’m right with the Lord,” but that doesn’t mean you are. It’s time to stop wearing God out and begin to please Him by holy and righteous lives.