Read Malachi 3:13-15
13 “You have said terrible things about me,” says the LORD.
“But you say,’What do you mean? What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said,’What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the LORD of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins? 15 From now on we will call the arrogant blessed. For those who do evil get rich,and those who dare God to punish them suffer no harm.'” (NLT)
If we seek to serve God because we figure everything then makes sense and good is rewarded and bad is punished,we are in for a rude surprise. We live in a world which is not fair. The goodies suffer,the baddies prosper. Following the Lord makes no sense if we are doing so in order to see things as they ought to be.
The people of Israel were fed up with their oppressors getting away with their evil. So they concluded that following the Lord was not getting them anywhere. Perhaps they entertained the idea that obedience on their part would mean an immediate exhibition of justice from God. They would get their reward and their enemies would get their just deserts.
It didn’t happen then and it doesn’t happen now. At least if we talk about immediate and constant fairness. True,God will act one day to put all things right. But till then,he seems to let this fallen world inflict its unfairness on all. He remains fair,though his world is not.
We follow God not to escape hardship or to rub our hands with delight as the wicked are punished. We follow God because he is God. We follow him with all the mysteries and puzzlement because we figure not following him is even worse! We follow him not because of any immediate benefits that might come our way. We follow him because,being God,he knows what he is doing even if we don’t.