#2 Who Is God? | A Dishonoured Parent

Father

As a teacher, one of the things I detest is an insincere apology. A flippant ‘I’m sorry’ means nothing if a student promptly returns to the offending behaviour. However, the most frustrating thing is knowing that in their ‘hierarchy of respect’, I simply don’t rank high enough. They wouldn’t dare act in the same way with teacher X, much less a parent.



“A son honours his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, where is My honour? And if I am a Master, where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts to you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’” (Malachi 1:6)

In Context

In the first part of the verse, God highlights that there is a universally agreed (and expected) interaction between father-son and master-servant. The priests should know how to treat Him. The sad thing is that they are oblivious to their wrongdoing. In their eyes, their treatment of God has been perfectly acceptable – what could He possibly have to complain about? If anyone ought to have known how to properly honour God, then it should have been the priests. This is particularly important because they were in a position of leadership. As congregants, we can be prone to implicitly following the example of our leaders without questioning the biblical standard of their actions. That’s lazy. In fact, had Israel been ‘clued up’ then perhaps they would have challenged their leaders way before God intervened. Accountability is essential.

God defines how you should honour Him.

It’s worth labouring on the fact that the priests’ honour was convenient. They honoured God how they wanted to. Such honour falls short. Honouring any individual, more so God, is about them – not you.  Perhaps the priests thought that honouring God in their own way (see full chapter) was better than doing nothing at all. In the words of my Mother (and probably yours, too), “if you’re going to do something, do it properly!”



Applied

The issue I have with some of my students (primarily the older ones) is that they know my expectations, but they don’t act accordingly. They’ve decided to define their own parameters of what our teacher-student relationship should be like. Likewise, it’s very easy for you as a son or daughter of God to decide how you want your parent-child relationship to look – irrespective of what God wants. For example:

  • Do you give God scraps of your time rather than ensuring devotion is a fixed part of your schedule?
  • Is tithe-giving dependent on your expenses for the month rather than a consistent practice?
  • Are your gifts only used outside church even though there are opportunities within the church?
  • Is Sabbath-keeping a delight, or are you merely counting down the minutes until sunset?

The list above is definitely not exhaustive. It’s impossible to know the specific areas where you personally fail to honour God properly. However, I would encourage you to make a list of the areas where you are giving Him much less than He deserves. Would you really treat a parent or parental figure in the same way?



So…

I know you know how to honour God. Properly. To be content with anything less is genuinely a travesty. It might sound like a cliche, but honouring God first helps you to honour everyone else accordingly.

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