Arguing with God

Arguing is generally a bad idea that the Bible cautions us against (Philippians 2:14, Titus 2:9). While at times it is appropriate to “argue” as we reason through God’s word or even defend our faith (Acts 9:29; 17:2), in most cases, it is not.

My children will sometimes argue in the back seat on the way to school, teens might argue with parents, and adults will sometimes argue with their spouses. All of this only results in frustration, aggravation, and anger.

In the Old Testament book of Malachi, the prophet does what many prophets have done before. He preaches a message from God to the Israelites describing their sins and commanding their repentance. But one unique thing about the book is their response to God; instead of choosing to accept or ignore His instructions, the people argue.

When God says, “I have loved you,” they argue, “How have you loved us?” (Malachi 1:2). When God says that the priests “despise My name,” the priests say, “How have we despised Your name?” (Malachi 1:6). Near the end of the book, God says, “Your words have been arrogant against Me,” and the people respond, “What have we spoken against You?” (Malachi 3:13).

As frustrating as an argument can be, imagine what it must have been like for God to hear His creation argue with Him. When God speaks, we should listen. When He gives instruction, we should strive to learn. When God commands, we must choose to obey.

Matt Langfield