Devotion:This Is A Dangerous View of God!
From chapter 1 of this book of Malachi we saw the downward spiral of the spiritual condition of the people of Judah. It started from the sins of the people to the sins of the priests back to more sins of the people. As if that was not enough, the last verse of chapter 2, shows how far down they had gone.
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 2:17
Just because God had not rained down punishment for those who were doing evil, the people of Judah concluded that the Lord delights in evil practices. Can you imagine thinking and even imagining that God delights in those who do evil? Not only did they say God delights in those who do evil, they also concluded He also delights in seeing injustice in the land.
Now this is a very dangerous conclusion! God’s silence or patience does not give us freedom to conclude that He delights in seeing evil. Just because He has not punished the evildoers does not mean He delights in seeing evil or those who commit it. We saw yesterday that God cannot do anything that contradicts His nature. He cannot violate any of His attributes.
This was not the first time this happened for in the days of Isaiah the prophet, the people made the same conclusions about God. And Isaiah gave this warning.
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight. Isaiah 5:20-21
Making such a conclusion that accuses God of delighting in evil is being wise in your own eyes. It is a dangerous conclusion that leads to a dangerous view of God. The prophet Malachi answered his people in the following passage.
“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. Malachi 3:1-5
While God may look like He is delaying Justice for the evildoers, He will eventually do what is right in administering Justice. But we must take this also in account, what appears to be God’s delay is actually His patience toward the unrepentant. He is giving the unrepentant time to repent.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
This is why it would be a dangerous conclusion to think that God is either delaying or is delighting in evil. This can truly be a dangerous view of God.
1. Have you made any unwarranted conclusion about God?
a. If so, what were the prevailing circumstances that caused you to do so?
b. Have you changed your mind about this conclusion?
c. If so, what made you change your mind about this conclusion about God?
2. One of the causes for making such conclusions about God is the lack of understanding of God’s character and how He deals with mankind.
a. And the best way to learn about God’s character is reading His word.
b. Reading the history of Israel gives you more understanding on how God deals with mankind.
c. Therefore, begin reading God’s word today so that you can avoid a dangerous view of God, which comes from a wrong conclusion about Him.
3. Sometimes because God has not answered your prayers, you can be tempted to conclude that God does not love you. You must always remember this verse.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless. Psalm 84:11
4. You may be going through a painful moment in your life because of a physical problem or challenges in life and you are tempted to conclude that God does not care about you. Remember the following verses.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2b
5. I have always been fascinated with Job’s response to tragedy. What did he know about God that we do not know? What had he tasted or seen about God that we do not know? Either way, it is a clear demonstration of his love, trust, and how deep his relationship was with God. Read what Job said in response to a myriad of bad news.
At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.[c] The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:20-22
6. What else have you learnt from this passage or the supporting cross-references?
God never does anything that contradicts Himself
This is why, making a conclusion that
He is delaying Justice or delights
In those who commit evil
Is a very dangerous
THIS IS A DANGEROUS VIEW OF GOD!
By Pastor Shadrack Ruto