I am blogging this Advent from #decolonizelutheranism’s Advent devotional, Shut Up. (That would be the sanitized version)
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)
I missed yesterday. It was a busy day at the newspaper. And I spent my morning writing time on my novel because I was so engrossed in what my characters were doing I couldn’t put it down.
Just before this, Malachi reports the following:
“For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.” (Malachi 2:16 ESV)
What the ESV calls “violence” the CEV translates as “injustice.”
We are doers of injustice. We are faithless, idolatrous followers of God who then wonder where the justice is — where is all the stuff that works in our favor?
Malachi is not a happy prophet. But then, few of the prophets to Israel are. He is sent with harsh words to the priests of Israel, who sacrifice worthless things to God. We do this. We keep back the best things for ourselves and give to God … our discards. Our surplus. We give to God from what is left after we first take for ourselves.
We tithe out of our wealth, from the abundance that overflows around us and smothers us, when we should be tithing out of our poverty. Giving to God first, and from that which we can least afford to give.
And we weary God. By calling evil good and demanding justice from God when we ourselves are unwilling to be just.