The Reading: Malachi 2:17-3:5
“How have we wearied him?” (v.17) RSV
When we weary the Lord with our words, we weary him both with what we say and with the number of words we use. Do we think we will be heard for our “many words” (Matthew 6:7)? We love arguing and justifying. God is not usually impressed with our logic, but he is much more impressed with our heart. He sees the heart and he sees our actions, for these speak to him more loudly than heaps of words.
In today’s reading the Lord is wearied not only by Israel’s endless talk but also by their defence of evil! They were arguing that “everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them” (v.17). This is not quite the same as calling ‘evil’ ‘good’. If they had done so then they would have been guilty of “blasphemy against the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 12:31).
However, their wrong belief was that people who do evil things are nevertheless good in God’s sight. In other words God is not troubled or offended by evil behaviour. He winks at it and continues to pour out his love and blessing on such evildoers. This attitude robs God of justice and morality. God hates sin and evil behaviour even if he continues to love the sinner. But even that love cannot bring blessing or benefit to the evildoer. God does not have the wool pulled over his eyes, for as St Paul says: “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.” (Galatians 6:7).
That’s life. Call it karma or what you will, evil has its inevitable consequences. We cannot appeal to God to ignore our deeds and bless us. There is only one way to open ourselves to his blessing and that is to admit our evil and to cry for his grace and mercy. We deserve nothing; we merit nothing except judgement. But we can be assured of God’s loving kindness and his desire to forgive.
Lord, forgive me when I weary you with many words and wrong ideas. May I come in humility and trust. Amen.
1 What does God look for from us?
2 What sort of actions does God want from us?