This week, Pastor Chris continued in Malachi 2 with a powerful message on the justice of God. The Israelites were continuing in their lukewarm living, and they began to accuse the Lord and question His character. Rather than desiring Him, they questioned what He had done for them lately. In their distorted perspective and pride, they cynically twisted God’s truth and created a God in their own image. We want to be a people who see God rightly and align our will with His.
Malachi 2:17–3:5 (ESV)
17 You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?” By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” 1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years. 5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.
Audacious Accusation #1: “God is not wearied by us”
Malachi 2:17 (ESV)
17 You have wearied the Lord with your words. But you say, “How have we wearied him?”
Arrogance pleading its innocence.
Pride questioning God’s character.
Isaiah 43:24 (ESV)
24 You have not bought me sweet cane with money, or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins; you have wearied me with your iniquities.
Audacious Accusation #2: “God likes evil”
Malachi 2:17 (ESV)
By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.”
When things get tough, where do you go?
Proverbs 11:2 (ESV)
2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
Proverbs 29:23 (ESV)
23 One’s pride will bring him low, but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
Proverbs 16:18 (ESV)
18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 8:13 (ESV)
13 The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.
James 4:6 (ESV)
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”
Proverbs 16:5 (ESV)
5 Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished.
“God hates pride. How do we explain God’s abhorrence of the haughty heart? Simple. God resists the proud because the proud resist God. Arrogance will not admit to sin. The heart of pride never confesses, never repents, never asks for forgiveness. Pride is the hidden reef that shipwrecks the soul.”
Audacious Accusation #3: “God is not just”
Malachi 2:17 (ESV)
By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?”
2 Corinthians 10:3–5 (ESV)
3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,
Malachi 3:1 (ESV)
1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me.
God’s Justice #1: “God’s messenger will prepare the way”
Isaiah 40:3 (ESV)
3 A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Matthew 11:10 (ESV)
10 This is he of whom it is written, “ ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you.’
- God is the Righteous Judge. Justice is rooted in the very nature of God (Isa 40:14).
- He evenhandedly rewards good, and he does not ignore the sins of any (Psalm 33:5; Psalms 37:6).
- Because he is just, God never shows partiality or favoritism and is not based on human reasoning (Matt 5:45; Acts 10:34-35; Romans 2:6).
God’s Justice #2: “God’s Son is the manifestation of justice”
Malachi 3:1 (ESV)
And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts.
Luke 18:7–8 (ESV)
7 And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? 8 I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”
God’s Justice #3: “God’s people will be cleansed and purified”
Malachi 3:2-4 (ESV)
2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.
Titus 2:11–14 (ESV)
11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.
God’s Justice #4: “God’s enemies will be condemned”
Malachi 3:5 (ESV)
5 “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the Lord of hosts.
- Judgment of the Believer
1 Corinthians 3:11–15 (ESV)
11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Matthew 12:30 (ESV)
30 Whoever is not with me is against me
- Judgment of the Unbeliever
Revelation 19:11–16 (ESV)
11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. 16 On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.
1 Corinthians 6:9–11 (ESV)
9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Numbers 32:23 (ESV)
behold, you have sinned against the Lord, and be sure your sin will find you out.
- Admit & Trust (Romans 10:9-10)
- Receive & Partner with His Refining (Philippians 2:12-13)
- Test Yourself
2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV)
5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!
1. Have you ever questioned God’s character because of pride in your heart? What was the root of this pride?
2. What is the difference between questioning and accusing God according to Pastor Chris? What are some Biblical examples of questioning God?
3. The Israelites were living outside of God’s will and then wondered where His covering was. Have you ever done this in your walk with the Lord?
4. What is justice according to the Word of God? How would the world define justice?
6. Have you ever gone through a refining or cleansing time with the Lord? Share with the group.
1. Are you feeling apathetic toward the Lord? Ask the Lord to reignite your passion for Him since He is passionate about you.
2. What role does repentance currently play in your relationship with Jesus? Commit this week to begin repenting of your sin to find refreshment in the Lord.
3. Meditate on the 3 truths about God’s justice this week. Commit to aligning your definition of justice with the Lord’s.