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Summary: In this passage God is addressing disappointed and disillusioned people who accuse Him of being unfair. Problem: People speak against God.

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Introduction:

What speech is spoken against God?

1) vain speech (uselessness or false)

Exo 20:7 "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.

2) deceptive or smooth speech (lying)

Rom 16:18 For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites; and by their smooth (good words) and flattering speech they deceive the hearts of the unsuspecting.

3) Perverse speech (distorts truth/false)

Pro 19:1 Better is a poor man who walks in his integrity Than he who is perverse in speech and is a fool.

Pro 4:24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. (Acts 20:30)

4) Flattery speech (excessive, untrue, or insincere praise)

1Th 2:5 For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed--God is witness-- …

5) Graceless speech (Christless or unkind)

Col 4:6 Let your speech always be with grace…

Pro 22:11 He who loves purity of heart And whose speech is gracious, (kind, favor, pleasant, precious) the king is his friend.

6) Abusive speech (vile {evil, wicked, depraved} or filthy)

Col 3:8 But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.

Isa 3:8 For Jerusalem has stumbled and Judah has fallen, Because their speech and their actions are against the LORD, To rebel against His glorious presence… 9 For they have brought evil on themselves.

The Main Point: Since Jesus is God; you ought to fear Him and esteem His name through service to Him.

Theme: Because Christ loves with unchanging love; you ought to respond to Him with reverence.

He has a universal plan: making His name great among all the nations.

Section #1: Evidence of His love (1:1-1:15)

1. You are elected (chosen).

2. You are not consumed (Esau-Jacob heritage continues).

Section #2: Evidence of Irreverence (1:6-2:16)

1. Corrupt worship

2. Despising His name

Section #3: Coming Judgment (2:17-3:6)

Section #4: God’s Invitation (return) (3:7-4:6)

They find themselves on a plateau between two periods of great blessing:

1) Return to Jerusalem from Babylon

2) The birth of the Savior

They are experiencing crop failures, have no standing army to defend them and live under Persian rule.

Why did God give us this passage?

To help us understand His viewpoint regarding two possible positions: 1) those that speak against Him and 2) those that esteem His name with reverence.

First, we will identify the wicked.

I. The wicked practice arrogant speech against God! v. 13-15

Jud 1:16 These (ungodly) are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.

Rev 13:5-6 There was given to him (the beast) a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle… (cf. 1 pe. 3:10; 2 Pe 2:18)

These people are using Bible terms in their speech but their thinking has an unbiblical focus. Serving God means earthly prosperity is in your future.

A. They say it is vain to serve God (13-14).

Deu 10:12 "Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul…

1. What profit is there in obedience?

2. What profit is there in mourning?

B. They say the wicked are the blessed (15).

ILLUSTRATION

Success is all about money… who has most toys wins…

It is not happening for those who serve God but everyone else.

Psa 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, Nor stand in the path of sinners, Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!

Psa 33:12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.

Psa 40:4 How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust…

Psa 128:1 How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, Who walks in His ways.

1. They are built up [prosperous] (15a).

Psa 28:5 Because they do not regard the works of the LORD Nor the deeds of His hands, He will tear them down and not build them up.

Psa 89:3-4 "I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, 4 I will establish your seed forever And build up your throne to all generations."

2. They escape judgment (15b).

Rom 2:5-6 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:

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