Monday, April 30, 2012

Malachi 3:13-16

"Your words have been stout against me, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?
Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the Lord of hosts?
And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered.
Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another: and the Lord hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his name."
Malachi 3:13-16

This is interesting, and a common complaint I think.  As we live good lives, we start expecting blessings, and when we get more trials instead, or see people who aren't trying as hard as we are doing just as well, or much, much better, one one level it can be hard to understand why we're doing what we're doing.  And in these verses God hears and responds to those types of complaints.  In the end, the difference between the righteous and the wicked will be very clear.
On another level, of course, trials are what build us and help us... so trials are a kind of blessing, even though it is hard to see it that way while we're in it.  And God loves that other person who seems to be prospering just as well as he loves us.  Learning to be happy for other people rather than jealous and covetous is probably an important thing that we all need to learn.  We can't see into other people's lives from the outside.  We don't know what they are going through or what they are working on.  All tough things.
I think the biggest thing that I got out of this verse this morning was pride... we call the proud happy.  In the next chapter God reinforces these verses by saying "all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble."  It is an awesome thing to be confident in the blessings that God has waiting for the righteous.  ... But let's also make sure that we aren't the proud ones that he is talking about. :)  Today, let's be humble.  Let's accept what God has in store for us, and what he has in store for other people.  And as we learn to accept and learn from our trials, then we'll grow more confident in future promised blessings.

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