“Your words have been hard against Me, says the LORD. But you say, ‘How have we spoken against You?’ 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.’ 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. ‘They shall be Mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up My treasured possession.’” (Malachi 3:13-17 ESV)
It’s not how most people think about God in my experience. But you can hear the note of sadness in God’s voice—”Your words have been hard against Me, says the Lord.” And immediately I think: Wait a minute. You heard that? You care about that? Why? After all, You’re God and I’m just a human being on a small planet in an incredibly huge universe. How can You even pay attention to our world, let alone the things I say?
But God does. He is the Maker of the universe and all its endless galaxies, yes. He keeps track of all the stars. But He also keeps track of all the atoms—every cell in your body, every word you speak. And these things matter to Him. He cares.
Well, that’s a bit awkward, isn’t it? Suddenly I have the urge to revisit all the careless things I’ve been saying. “Um, I didn’t really mean that, Lord. Or maybe I did, but the mood has passed and I feel different now. I mean, I wasn’t thinking things through. I didn’t think You were listening.”
It’s time to give up justifying myself. Better to say just “I’m sorry, Lord,” and throw myself on His mercy. Because at the back of that hurt there is everlasting love—it’s the reason our words matter to Him, isn’t it?
If He didn’t love us, He could just squash us and be done with it. But He won’t. He loves us intensely and calls us back to Him. He will go to any lengths to bring us back to Himself—even taking our guilt upon Himself as a human being, even suffering and dying on a cross. Even rising from the dead and promising to make us alive with Him forever as His children. We matter that much to Him. Jesus is the proof that God cares—and that He is calling us back to Himself, whatever we have done or said. He wants you, and He loves you. Won’t you answer His call?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I’m sorry. Bring me back. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on November 15, 2022
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
1. Do you ever feel overlooked by God?
2. What makes it clear to you that He is paying attention—that He cares?
3. If our words can grieve Him, they can also please Him. What is a small thing you have done or said that you believe, by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, made Him happy?