When we aren’t rewarded for our religious efforts, we tend to think our devotion is in vain. Our obedience should not be used as a bargaining tactic to get what we want.
13 “Your words have been hard against me, says the Lord. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against you?’ 14 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? 15 And now we call the arrogant blessed. Evildoers not only prosper but they put God to the test and they escape.’”
16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
Rebellious People (3:13-15)
God says you speak hard words against Him when you say:
- It is vain to serve God.
- What profit is there in serving God?
- Evildoers prosper and God lets them escape.
- The people thought it was vain to serve God because they did not understand and know God.
- God does not bless improper attitudes and wrong motives.
- God’s silence and longsuffering should not be taken as approval of evildoers; judgment is coming.
Faithful Remnant (3:16-18)
- The faithful remnant fears the Lord and esteems God’s name.
- The faithful remnant is God’s treasured possession and he spares them.
- God draws a distinction between the righteous and the wicked.