“You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you ask, ‘How have we wearied the Lord?’ When you say, ‘Everyone who does evil is good in the Lord’s sight, and He is pleased with them,’ or ‘Where is the God of justice?’” Malachi 2:17
Here is a saying that bears repeating. Two things confound a fool: 1) How slow God is to respond to sin, and 2) How quickly He shows up to judge.
The religious contradictions in Israel had reached their peak by the end of the first prophetic age. On the one hand, the religious leaders were teaching that God was overly gracious, to the point that He was pleased with those who practice evil. On the other hand, they demanded God’s justice for their enemies.
How can a God, who is pleased with evil, serve justice? Justice demands that God hates what is evil.
Today’s verse reminds me of a conversation I had with a gentleman in Israel a few years back. This young man told me he didn’t believe anyone was going to Hell. He thought we shouldn’t risk personal confrontation by preaching about judgment and redemption because God would pardon the whole world at the last moment.
Later that day, the issue of suicide bombers came up. The same fellow’s comment was, “I hope those suicide bombers get what they deserve!” Contradiction. When we refuse the Bible as the standard, we allow feelings, politics, and secular philosophy to determine our theology. With this approach, our opinions “seem” to make sense in isolated situations, but they don’t collectively agree. We elevate our intellect to be the judge and humiliate the Bible to be “just another opinion.”
We find a similar situation in the book of the Judges.
“In those days, there was no king in Israel. Every man did whatever he wanted.” Judges 21:25
Paul lists several manifestations of moral relativism displayed in the last days.
“But know this: difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of religion, but denying its power. Avoid these people!” 2 Timothy 2: 1-5
The same perversion of truth, which brought judgment upon Israel before Messiah’s first coming, will eventually bring judgment upon the whole earth. It signals the approach of Jesus’ second coming, not as a Suffering Servant but as the Righteous Judge.
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