Talking Back to God

Text: Malachi 3:13

Talking back is a phrase used to describe one who verbally challenges a parent, elder, or superior. When Malachi prophesied, the people were guilty of talking back to God (ex: Malachi 3:13). Several times in this short book, the people openly challenged God’s statements/rebukes. In this lesson, we will briefly consider the examples of the people talking back to God so that we might learn not to do the same.

“How Have You Loved Us?” (Malachi 1:2)

  • The people felt like God had forsaken them – so God reminded them of how much better off they were than the descendants of Esau (1:2-3)
  • Why were they better off? … because God had chosen them (Deuteronomy 7:6-8)
  • We must never question God’s love for us (John 3:16; Romans 5:8) – He has chosen us just as He did them (Ephesians 1:4-5)
  • Do not allow temporary circumstances cause you to question/doubt this

“How Have We Despised Your Name?” (Malachi 1:6)

  • God cited fathers, masters, and governors as those worthy of respect (1:6,8) – yet God was not respected; He was despised
  • They despised God by offering what was defiled (1:7-8) and by seeing worship as tiresome (1:13)
  • We must worship God according to His standard (John 4:24) – nothing less than what He expects
  • We must recognize the great privilege it is to worship the Lord (Psalm 122:1; Hebrews 10:25)

“For What Reason” Will God Not Accept Our Offerings? (Malachi 2:14)

  • Despite their show of sincere sorrow, God had no regard for their offering (2:13)
  • Why? … They had dealt treacherously against the wife of their covenant (2:14,16)
  • God will not overlook sin like this – He expects us to respect the institution of marriage (Hebrews 13:4)
  • Besides being faithful (Matthew 19:6), we respect marriage by treating our spouses the way God expects us to (Ephesians 5:22,25)

“How Have We Wearied Him?” (Malachi 2:17)

  • They wearied the Lord by saying that He delighted in those who do evil (2:17)
  • God never delights in sin (Malachi 2:16; Proverbs 6:16; Psalm 119:104)
  • We must not call evil good (Isaiah 5:20)
  • We must not contend that God accepts those in sin (Romans 6:1-2)

“How Shall We Return?” (Malachi 3:7)

  • When God called them to return, they asked how they could do that
  • Possibilities as to what they meant – first, they had no reason to return since God was the one who left them; second, there was no way to return because God would not welcome them back
  • Problems with this attitude – first, it ignores one’s own sin (1 John 1:8,10); second, it ignores the fact that God will not forsake the faithful (Hebrews 13:5); third, it ignores the path of reconciliation (1 John 1:9)

“How Have We Robbed Him?” (Malachi 3:8)

  • They were robbing God by not giving Him the tithes & offerings He expected/deserved (3:8)
  • We already discussed the importance of having the right attitude toward worship – but there is another application to be made here
  • God expects us to sacrifice our lives for Him (Romans 12:1; Lk. 9:23)
  • If we are not taking up our cross daily to follow Him & presenting our bodies as living sacrifices to Him, then we are robbing Him

“What Have We Spoken Against You?” (Malachi 3:13)

  • God charged them with speaking arrogant words against Him (3:13) – specifically, they said it was vain to serve God & is of no profit (3:14)
  • The reality is that there is a great reward (1 Timothy 6:6) – but we must look to the eternal reward (1 Peter 1:4)

Listen to this lesson: Talking Back to God


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