You have wearied the LORD with your words;
Yet you say,
“In what way 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?”
Malachi was a prophet during the time just after the Babylonian captivity (around 500 BC). Where Ezra had come to guide the rebuilding of the temple, and Nehemiah had come to supervise the rebuilding of Jerusalem’s walls, Malachi was charged with rebuilding the priesthood. And although Malachi’s prophecy is a short book, and right at the end of the Old Testament, it still holds a special place as a call to holiness and faithfulness for all believers.
In today’s passage, Malachi makes reference to an important truth: the promises of the Lord are for believers, not just for anybody, and certainly not for sinners. Yes, what Peter said is true:
2 Peter 3:9
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Nonetheless, God knows that some will NOT come to repentance, that many will simply refuse His grace. Those who refuse Him, He will refuse. (Matthew 10:33) So if anyone comes along and tries to tell us that God grades on a curve, that He is willing to overlook sins of which we are not willing to repent, then that person is simply lying to us.
The sad thing is that there is just such teaching in some churches today, places where pastors and priests tell people that God will love them just as they are and that there is no need to change. That is a lie.
While it is true we no longer live under the law of Moses, nonetheless once we have come to Christ we are expected to fulfill the “righteous requirements of the law.” (See Romans 2:25-29) Yes, we are saved by grace through faith. (Ephesians 2:8-9) But from what have we been saved if we say that God will NOT judge our sinful actions? From what are we saved if we say “God will make allowances”? From what have we been saved if we say “God won’t cast anyone aside”? What is God’s judgment worth, what is His righteousness, what is His sacrifice, if we say He no longer judges?
Do not be deceived in this. Look with discernment at the teachings coming from today’s churches, and compare them to God’s Word, His Holy Bible. If someone is trying to tell you that something is good that you KNOW in your heart and in God’s Word is plainly sinful and evil, then it’s time to rebuke that teacher and his or her teaching. It is time to stand up and not be afraid to call a spade, a spade. Like Malachi, we need to stand up and point out that God is weary of a priesthood that does not fulfill this simple role:
5 “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace,
And I gave them to him that he might fear Me;
So he feared Me
And was reverent before My name.
6 “The law of truth was in his mouth,
And injustice was not found on his lips.
He walked with Me in peace and equity,
And turned many away from iniquity.
7 “For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge,
And people should seek the law from his mouth;
For he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.”
Let us not simply accept the “laws” of men as the law of God. God’s standards are not open to adjustment, and when God said something was an abomination to Him, He never said “at the time this was written.” We are not to add to or change the Word of God to suit our purposes. As faithful believers, we are called to be holy – set apart from the world and its standards – not to adjust God’s standards to the world. Christ died for our sins so that we need never be slaves to men or to sin again. (Romans 6:5-6) So let us be holy, guided by the Holy Spirit and the Bible, and let us be wary of teachings that pervert the death of Christ into a covering for evil and sin.
Gracious Lord God, please forgive those who have departed from Your way, who have twisted Your Word and ignore its truth and plain teachings. Through Your Holy Spirit, bring the misguided back to faith in You, and help me, Lord Jesus, to stand up against false teachings. Let me proclaim only Your Word. Amen.