“You have said harsh things against me, says the LORD . Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’ You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.’ Then those who feared the LORD talked with each other, and the LORD listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the LORD and honored his name. They will be mine, says the LORD Almighty, in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” ( Malachi 3:13-18 )
When I first read this passage, the message and application seemed simple enough. There are those who disdained God and worship, calling it useless because those who did not worship are not reaping the consequences. But God says it does make a difference and those who believe and worship will be rewarded, and that there will be a noticeable difference between how the righteous and the wicked are dealt with.
But as I tried to ‘hear’ the different voices, that is, figure out who these voices belong to, I got confused. There seems to be three groups; those who complained and did not realize how God received their complaints, those who were wicked but prospered, and those who feared the Lord and talked with one another. Certainly those who feared the Lord will be treated well. And those who did evil will be punished. But I keep coming back to this middle group, the complainers. Who were they? Who are they now? What was the error of their ways? Did they see it? And most importantly, will they be spared?
Right now, in our day and age, it is still hard to see the difference between the evil and arrogant who get away with things for their punishment has not come yet. And it is hard to tangibly see where the righteous are being rewarded. And as to those who have rude and harsh things to say about God, it is hard to see where they are being disciplined and redeemed.
Take what you will from these verses. And if you have insight into a truer message from these verses, feel free to share what you have gleaned.