Words Against the Lord Mal. 3:13-15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
The Lord said to Israel, “Your words have been stout against me.” They had been speaking words against the Lord. These words resulted from:
Self-will – they said, “It is vain to serve God” – it is not worthless to serve God in spite of the fact that those who don’t serve the Lord have more and better possessions than you do and seem to get along in life better than you do – Asaph [Ps 73] and Job [Job 21] learned that the “end” of the wicked reveals that serving God is not vain, but is far better – when men use the science of natural processes [1 Tim 6:20] to teach others that God is just a religious concept, they may make plenty of money down here but they will rot in hell if they reject him – when men use philosophy and vain deceit [Col 2:8] to overthrow the knowledge of God they are vain – but it is not vain to serve God – don’t let the devil deceive you to believe otherwise [2 Cor 11:13-15].
Profit-seeking – “what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts” – success with God is not measured in dollar denominated profitability [Mk 8:36] – a poor saved man is better than a very rich lost man – the Lord’s future rewards are immeasurable down here.
Pride – “now we call the proud happy” – the proud are happy initially – but in time, their happiness fades and the proud are destroyed – with the Lord, happiness is not the key, joy is – joy is from the Lord and usually increases even in the midst of affliction [Gal 5:22-23; 2 Cor 8:1-2].
Wickedness – “they that work wickedness are set up” – Jezebel and Ahab were set up and they worked wickedness in Israel – they were high up for a long time – but in the end, Ahab turned out to be the wickedest king Israel ever had and Jezebel was thrown over a wall, trampled by Jehu’s horse and eaten by dogs – this is just like the antichrist.
Temptation – “they that tempt God are even delivered” – Jer 44:15-19 – Israel came to believe that when they did those things that tempted God they were actually blessed – and so they wanted to leave off serving God because they were afraid they would lose the blessings of their idolatry.
Conclusion: if you think that by following your own will, by seeking maximum profitability, by exercising your pride, by pursuing wickedness and by tempting God that you are going to somehow be better off, you are wrong. As a Christian, if you reject these things and will refuse to speak against the Lord, in the end you will find that you were right.