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?” Malachi 2:17 ESV
You have said, ‘It is vain to serve God. What is the profit of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts? And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.” Malachi 3:14-15 ESV
The Judeans had returned from captivity in Babylon quite sure that just as the prophetic promises of return had been fulfilled, so would all the other promises, including great prosperity and world rulership. But it had not happened. They were a poor backwater in the mighty Persian empire. So – since Yahweh had not paid off, why bother to serve him?
Why are you serving God? Why am I? Honestly, now. Maybe it becomes clearest when things fall apart in our lives. Are you tempted to feel that God has failed you, that you deserve better? I mean, look at all the church-going, all the offerings, all the restraint of your baser desires. Shouldn’t that count for something? Isn’t God in my debt?
When I put it that way, I hang my head. God – in my debt? Of course not. Never. God owes you and me nothing, except eternal banishment from his presence for our pride and self-serving. Everything he has ever done for us is undeserved, most especially the gift of eternal life through Jesus. A life of joyous obedience from us is nothing more than he deserves. If he never gives us one other thing, he has already given us everything.
But he has not merely given us the promise of life eternal – he has given us much more. Paul said, “Give thanks in everything.” That is the key. Don’t look at what God has not given you, but rather at what he has given you – all undeserved – and be overcome with gratitude.