Malachi part 6
When words make God weary.
Malachi 2:17 NIV – You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
Malachi 3:1-5 NIV – 1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years. 5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
Introduction: This is the 6th sermon in our verse by verse series into the book of Malachi. Last time we looked at the covenant of marriage and saw the importance that God places on this institution.
Today we are again going to be looking at a very important subject: “When words make God weary.”
We live in a culture that places a high importance on words; but sometimes our words, no matter how impressive and sincere, can actually make God weary, as we shall see.
You see the Jews were saying things in their prayers, and to one another, that was literally making God weary. Let’s begin looking into our text this morning and see God’s response to these words, they are actually prophetic and serve as a severe warning. We will also endeavor to apply these truths to our time. Let’s begin breaking down the passage.
God grows weary with complaints.
Malachi 2:17 – You have wearied the LORD with your words. “How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and he is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
“You have wearied the LORD with your words. ‘How have we wearied Him?’”
- The people who are talking here are not the Gentile nations like Edom that God speaks about in Chapter 1, but it was the people of the covenant – the Jews.
- God says that they have wearied Him – How – with their words.
- “You have wearied” is the Hebrew word, הֹוגַעְתֶּ֤ם (ho·v·ga’·tem). It means, “to toil, to grow or become weary.” This is a verb in Hebrew, perfect tense; which means this is an action that these Jews did both in the past, and that they are continuing doing now.
- Now let’s answer the question, “How have we wearied Him?”
By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and He is pleased with them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?”
- These words that they are uttering are condemnation and utter blasphemy before a Holy God.
- Here they are, sinful people, accusing God of sinning by not being a God of justice and declaring people evil who do good.
- Just who do these people think they are? They have absolutely no right to accuse God of this.
- This reminds me of something that happened on the football field earlier this year(quoting from the NY Daily News): “It wasn’t his own hands or the Pittsburgh secondary Sunday that foiled Buffalo Bills wide receiver Steve Johnson from hauling in what should have been the game-winning TD catch in the end zone. It was God. “I PRAISE YOU 24/7!!!!!!” the 24-year-old tweeted from his iPad at around 5:15 Sunday after the Steelers’ 19-16 overtime victory. “AND THIS HOW YOU DO ME!!!!! YOU EXPECT ME TO LEARN FROM THIS??? HOW???!!! ILL NEVER FORGET THIS!! EVER!!! THX THO…” Johnson had a perfect pass in his hands that would have given his team an overtime victory over the heavily favored Steelers. Instead of walking off the field the hero, however, he dropped it. Devastated, the 24-year-old watched in horror as the Steelers drove back down the field for the game-winning field goal. While he seemed to hold it together on the sidelines, after the game, he later addressed the one person he found to blame on Twitter: God.”
- Now before we point fingers of blame at the Jews or Steve Johnson, let me state that all of us do this. We believe things about God, and even say things about God, both in prayer to Him and to others that are not even true about Him.
- We tend to take our own revelation of Him, or some other fallen persons revelation of Him as truth over the Bible’s revelation of truth concerning God.
- And that my friends is blasphemy and the breaking of God’s Law.
The Lord’s coming spoken here is one of judgment.
Malachi 3:1-3a – 1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver.
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.” (v.1a)
- This messenger that the Lord says will prepare the way before me is none other than John the Baptist.
- Before Jesus came to begin His ministry, John came and fulfilled not only this prophecy, but also the one in Isaiah.
Isaiah 40:3-5 – 3 A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. 5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
Matthew 11:7-10 – 7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written: “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.’
- To those who are complaining and accusing God falsely, this coming of the LORD is not some glorious thing, but a thing of judgment.
- In fact, the Prophet Amos talks about the LORD’S coming bringing judgment.
Amos 5:18-23 – 18 Woe to you who long for the day of the LORD! Why do you long for the day of the LORD? That day will be darkness, not light. 19 It will be as though a man fled from a lion only to meet a bear, as though he entered his house and rested his hand on the wall only to have a snake bite him.
20 Will not the day of the LORD be darkness, not light— pitch-dark, without a ray of brightness?21 “I hate, I despise your religious festivals; your assemblies are a stench to me. 22 Even though you bring me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. 23 Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.
“Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.” (verse 3b)
- Jesus partially fulfilled the LORD coming to judge the temple in the Gospels. He enters Jerusalem as King in Matthew 21; and look at the first act after entering the Temple.
Matthew 21:12-13 – 12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”
- Jesus will fully fulfill this prophecy in Malachi at His second coming.
Revelation 19:11-14 – 11 I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. 13 He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. 14 The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. “He will rule them with an iron scepter.” He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. 17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, “Come, gather together for the great supper of God, 18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small.” 19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. 20 But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshiped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. 21 The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh.
Descriptions of the judgment: (verses 2-3a)
- His coming will be like a refiner’s fire and launderer’s soap: Two different types of cleansing here – refiner’s fire, which is a drastic burning to purge away impurities – and launderer’s soap, which is a much more milder way to clean away filth.
- He will purge this earth like a purifier purges silver.
- He will do this to the Levites as well: This is interesting because the Levites were the ones who participated in Temple worship. I can’t help but think that part of the purging process that will take place when Christ comes is He will separate the wheat from the weeds in order to purify His church at His coming. Notice Jesus parable of the wheat and weeds.
Matthew 13:24-30 – 24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’ 29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”
- How can we apply this for today: Well, many a people who call themselves Christians worship a “Jesus” who they have built in their image in likeness that is not the Jesus of the Bible. And because of this, they are saying blasphemous things about Him. When Jesus comes, He will purge those who are false converts from the church when He purges the world. That is why it is so important for the Bible, not fallen man, to give us our standard of faith and practice and the truth concerning Jesus.
God will have a people for Himself.
Malachi 3:3b-4 – 3 Then the LORD will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the LORD, as in days gone by, as in former years.
- These offerings of righteousness will not be self-righteous offerings, but offerings given out of a heart that God has declared righteous through Jesus Christ.
- It is important when approaching the throne of God in worship and prayer, never approach based on the deeds you have done – but always on what Christ has done for us.
Those not belonging to God will be judged by Him at His coming.
Malachi 3:5 – “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the LORD Almighty.
- We don’t have time to really unpack everything in this verse, but let me say that this is a very, very dreadful verse.
- God will put those who commit the sins listed on trail. What a frightening thing.
- I’d much rather be acquitted of my sin through Jesus than put on trail by God Himself.
Conclusion: It is a scary thing to weary God with our words. Let’s not build an image of God based on some denomination, or favorite preacher, but on only what the Bible says about Him. If you have falsely said things about God based on having a false image of Him – there is good news – Jesus Christ died for that sin! Repent, and ask the Lord for mercifully forgive you and reveal Himself through His Holy Word.