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|Thursday, October 26, 2017|
The invitation to “vent” and “uncage the rage” is one that never really delivers. But with the enormous platform offered by the web, rants are everywhere (“flame trolling” is nearly an art form).
But there’s a dark side—a very dark side—to ranting before God to which I’ve previously given insufficient thought. I make this statement reacting to a recent journey into the book of Malachi.
In chapter three God says to the nation of Israel, “You have said harsh things against me.” What? Sounds like God was offended—and He was. But what kind of “harsh things” had they said? For starters, they claimed:
— “It is futile to serve God.”
— “What did we gain by carrying out His requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?”
— “Certainly the evil doers prosper.”
— “Even those who challenge God escape.”
In other words, they demanded of the Lord, “What’s the point of trying to be godly? What’s the point of trying to obey? Everybody else seems to be doing better than we are. So what’s the big deal here?”
The big deal is they were whining in the face of Almighty God, humanity judging Deity. No appropriate “fear of the Lord.” No honor reserved for His name.
While it is true we are free to be open and honest with God (David certainly was in the Psalms), let us ever remember God is still God.
As for our feelings of unfairness, God has warned us in advance, “My ways are not your ways.” Nor has He made a secret of His perspective: “Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks on the heart.”
Back to Malachi chapter three. This God, this all-consuming, all-knowing, all powerful King of Kings was offended—and said so. Hurt the Almighty? That’s exactly what they had done: “You have said harsh things against me.” But what about us?
If a recording of my every thought about God, my every conversation with God were to be broadcast on Facebook, I promise you I would be devastated. God would likewise be forced to conclude, “You have said harsh things against me.”
Time to watch our words.
Time to watch our thoughts.
Time to honor our God—even when life disappoints.
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