When the Lord Comes – Part 1
Last week we ended chapter 2 of Malachi and began chapter 3. By way of review, we saw that the Israelites were complaining that evil was being ignored by God or in a more heinous accusation, that God himself approved of evil. These were the people who saw themselves as “good people”, who saw evil transpiring around them.
It is a common thing that you may hear from people about themselves. In their eyes, they are not bad people. And when people say that they don’t understand that they do not set the standard of what is good and what is evil. The standard must be set by someone who is beyond evil itself. It must be set by someone who is perfect not someone who is flawed, sinful, and depraved. In addition, they do not understand that that is the current state they are in. But the Bible is clear that no one is good (Psa_14:1-3, Jer_17:9).
The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.
The Israelites became like the heathens surrounding them, scoffing at the God that they were supposed to be serving. They sat in judgment over God as if to say that he wasn’t doing a good enough job (Psa_73:11, 2Pe_3:3-4).
This was the reason for their question, “Where is the God of judgment?” That hubris it takes to accuse God of evil is astounding and it reflects a far-reaching depth of sinfulness in the hearts of men.
I was recently exposed to a meme of a black retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Desmond Tutu. 81 years old. This is what he says about the God of the universe:
I will refuse to go to a homophobic heaven. No, I would say, sorry. I mean I would much rather go to the other place. I would not worship the God who is homophobic and that is how deeply I feel about this. I am as passionate about this campaign as I ever was about apartheid.
The implication is clear and it is reflective of the Israelites in Malachi’s day. To sit in judgment over God and then accuse him of being evil. To blaspheme His name and slander His holy character. This while they dress and present themselves as religious and God-fearing. This is why previously in this chapter God had harsh words for those priests who were false. That has not changed up unto this day. People in positions of religious authority who lead people astray with their wicked doctrine.
To add insult to injury, they felt as if there so-called righteous behavior obligated God to make sure that nothing bad ever happened to them. It is a woeful misunderstanding of the condition of the world and it also is an elevated ignorance of the condition of man.
The fact of the matter is that this is the natural state we were created in. Therefore, there is nothing that we are owed because it is what and who we are supposed to be anyway (Rom_12:1).
When the Lord God calls unbelieving, evil people to turn from their way and live, what he is calling them to his their natural state that they were originally intended to walk in. This is important to God because we are created in his image (Gen_1:26).
Since we as humans are carrying the image of the holy Creator, we have a responsibility to uphold the reputation that is attached to that image. Therefore, everyone on the planet is obligated to reflect God always.
God commands repentance and obedience. God is not asking for us to repent from our evil ways, turn and live (Eze_33:11). He is commanding that we do so (Eze_18:31, Act_17:30). This is not an option for anyone who is a part of the human race. This is an eternal edict.
God responds to their wicked response by giving them a wondrous prophecy. He announces that he was going to send a messenger to prepare the way which we saw was John the Baptist :
This morning we’re going to look at what happens When the Lord Comes.
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