A God To Be Honored And Feared

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ —  Malachi 1:6

The structure of this argument by Malachi is interesting.

He begins with the proverb — "A son honors his father, and a servant his master." And no one would disagree with this logic. Then he chases the proverb with two rhetorical questions about things due to the two roles in the saying (father and master). They are honor and fear. This is his way of emphasizing the importance of reverent honor and holy fear. And then, Malachi drops the bomb on the group he's addressing — the spiritual leaders of Israel who have despised God's name.

We should note how easy it is for spiritual leaders to get off track. Their primary job was to act as mediators for God to God's people. But at some point, this top-down process got reversed. And I know it did because Malachi is giving the message they should have been giving. But instead, it appears the spiritual leaders are taking their cues from the people and making adjustments to worship to appease people instead of appeasing God. So God is rightly angered. But the worse part is, the spiritual leaders don't even realize it. And I know they don't because their question of rebuttal gives them away — "How have we despised your name?"

In my opinion, I think this happens more than we realize with our spiritual leaders. I am sure you have seen it as well. But as soon as a spiritual leader stops appeasing God to appease a crowd, committee, or community they start a process that is not easily reversed. And when you try to reverse it, you'll run into resistance from both the leader and the people.

But there are spiritual leaders who genuinely love God and want to bring honor and fear to God's name. And they are easy to spot because they don't care much about their name. They are far more worried about God and his name, and Malachi was one of these men. So follow a spiritual leader like this in this life. He is probably worth following.

ASK THIS: Are you following a spiritual leader who brings honor and fear to God's name?

DO THIS: If so, follow him! And then be worth following too.

PRAY THIS: God, your name is worthy.

PLAY THIS: Worthy.

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3 thoughts on “A God To Be Honored And Feared

  1. Tom Waller says:

    This says so much about where we are today.

    But as soon as a spiritual leader stops appeasing God to appease a crowd, committee, or community they start a process that is not easily reversed. And when you try to reverse it, you’ll run into resistance from both the leader and the people.

  2. Don says:

    If we are not following a spiritual leader that brings honor and fear to God’s name we need to find one, and quick. I belive there are many pastors today that tell their congregation what they want to hear rather then what they need to hear. This needs to change and is something we need to pray over and about

  3. Eddie Ackerman says:

    I have been blessed to have heard from most pastors that are only concerned with preaching God’s message to His family, not the family’s message to God. I know pastors receive input from the congregation, but I have seen and heard the pastor from our church admit that if he changed a message, it was from the prompting of the Father, not the prompting of the congregation. I know that you, Vince, also have a similar perspective. You change your messages to us men at His prompting, not ours, but we all make mistakes at times, so we help to correct each other and make the message stronger when we hear you stumble, or you see us comment on something out of context and you correct “stinkin’ thinkin’ “.

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