Summary: Malachi Series - 4 of 6.
THE WEARINESS OF GOD
INTRO: It is easy to forget but worth remembering that few things are forever. Fads and fashion, notions and nations, passions and possessions, even life on this planet — all come and go. But God remains constant. He is enduring and unchanging. His promises and purposes do not vary. The fact of God’s constancy, then, becomes an anchor in a life of change.
Malachi declares this truth: “For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob” (Malachi 3:6).
This statement is a part of the Lord’s fourth accusation against Israel. His charge was that his people had wearied him with their words.
What were the people saying that exhausted and disgusted God? That’s what they wanted to know. They asked, “In what way have we wearied Him?” (Malachi 2:17).
The Lord was specific. They were saying that he blessed the wicked rather than the righteous. People today do the same thing. They say that Christians suffer but not the lost. They were asking, “Where is the God of justice?” (Malachi 2:17). They were insinuating that the moral government of the world was out of joint.
Look at 3:1. God’s reply to their wearisome words was an eschatological answer. His messenger (John the Baptist) would come to prepare the way for the Messiah (Jesus), who would act in righteous judgment against all evil doers. Then they would see the foolishness of their complaints against him.
In this dialogue the Lord reveals three things about his people that weary him. He is wearied at the doubt of our hearts, at the dross (waste) of our lives, and at the distortion of his truth.
I. GOD IS WEARIED BY OUR DOUBTS.
“Where is the God of justice?” (v. 17) the people were asking. In so doing they called the very character of God into question. Such practices always anger God.
God welcomes honest doubt. Sincere doubt leads to honest inquiry; and honest investigation leads to the discovery of truth. But when we call the character of God into question without really seeking the truth, God is wearied with our words.
We cannot trust the promises of every person. Lenin said, “Promises like pie crusts are made to be broken.” but God has never broken any promise spoken. You can bank on that. He is pleased when his people trust his promises, even though their fulfillment may be delayed.
II. GOD IS WEARIED BY THE DIRT AND THE DROSS (Waste) OF OUR LIVES.
By calling the justice of God into question, the people sought to justify the sin in their own lives. When the Lord comes, Malachi says, “He is like a refiner’s fire” (v. 2) to burn out the waste and “like launderers’ soap” (v. 2) to wash out the dirt in their lives. What vivid pictures!
God does not change; therefore, his attitude toward sin is not altered (v. 6). God is pleased when his children walk in holiness before him by continual repentance and confession. He is wearied when we mouth complaints to justify our own sinfulness (v. 5).
III. GOD IS WEARIED BY OUR DISTORTIONS OF THE TRUTH.
The people said, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord” (v. 17). This was a clear perversion of God’s revealed truth. While they were guilty of sorcery, adultery, perjury, oppression, and irreverence, they kept up the externals and the rituals of worship. Such religious deterioration disgusts God. We exasperate him when we prey on our neighbors during the week and pray to him on Sunday.
Early in his prophecy, Malachi accused Israel of being weary of worship (1:13). He now declared that God is weary of their words. Weary worship and weary words — what a waste when he is worthy of our deepest devotion and our highest praise.
CONC: When we serve the Lord with a true faith, Holy living, and a sincere heart, both our words and our worship will be acceptable to him.