Malachi 3:14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?”
The bad guys were winning. The team was beginning to question the ability of the coach and maybe even if the game was worth the effort. If you’ve ever been on one of these teams you know how hard it is to finish the season. Losses mount. The aches and pains increase exponentially. The opponents seem like bullies. The problem with the team in Malachi’s day was that the game was life. There was no end to the season. They had come back to the Promised Land from captivity in Babylon, or their parents did, or maybe it was even their grandparents. Year gave way to year, season followed season, generation after generation there was no championship, no trophy, no parade. They rebuilt the Temple but their neighbors did not flock to it to worship their God. Instead there was tension and threats and insults. At some point in the past the people had been humbled by their difficulties, but that was all gone now. They bought into the party line that said, “It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty?” And the clock ran down closer to zero and the other team controlled the ball and the coach said trust the system, believe in the process, execute the game plan. The team said, “really?” and the coach said, “really.” And this week, what will you say?