Stout Words

Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD.  Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?

Malachi 3:13

Malachi is the last book in the Old Testament.  It was the end of God’s revelation to the nation of Israel for quite a long time.  God had some serious problems with His people.  They had rejected Him over and over again and judgment was coming.  Reading through several books of the prophets, you can see many times and many ways that God’s people have dishonored Him.  Even after reading all of those things, I was still a little shocked when I read the wording of this verse: “Your words have been stout against me…”

We sometimes use “stout words” with people.  Sometimes our children need some stout words, and sometimes the guy who cuts you off in traffic gets some stout words (whether he needs them or not).  But I can not imagine giving God Almighty stout words.  I can not imagine “giving God a piece of my mind.”  God is in control of everything and I would not want to be in the position of giving Him stout words.  But as terrible as talking to God like that is, the second half of the verse seems even worse to me.

“Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee?”  They were rejecting God and blaspheming His name and they didn’t even know it.  They were speaking “stout words” against God without even realizing what they were doing.  Doing wrong is obviously bad.  But doing wrong while thinking that you are doing right might be even worse.  These people were bringing judgment down on themselves and they were clueless.  To me, that is sad.  These were God’s people – how were they so blind?  In my opinion, they were blind because they had rejected God’s Word.  The same thing happens to us as we reject His Word.  Each time we reject or ignore Him, our hearts get a little harder.  After a while, we can, like the Israelites, speak out against God and not even realize it.

4 responses to this post.

  1. Good thoughts Ben! I am interested in what brings a person to “stout” words with God. I was with a man just last week who, though a Christian for many years, thought nothing of shaking a fist and swearing at God in the midst of a heavy trial. I realized then that what was bringing him to this place was a long-standing lack of faith in God that at that moment chose to rear its ugly head.
    I think stout words often come from a stout heart.


    • Amen- hard hearts bring hard words. I have noticed that trials are often used to show what is inside – to reveal our faith or lack thereof. I am praying that the Lord would increase my faith to trust Him with a content heart no matter what.


  2. Reading this brings me to prayer, asking Him to search my heart and my thoughts and to see where the stout is. God bless you, Ben and thank you for helping us look at His word each day!


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