Today, we look at another confusing verse in Malachi 1:6a. Read the verses below and ask yourself what in the world is the bible talking about slavery for? Don’t panic I have a commentary that follows the verses that I hope will clarify some of the questions that might come up.
The last Old Testament prophet, Malachi faced a nation that had grown indifferent toward God. He preached to stir their hearts, to turn them from apathy and renew their commitment to the Lord.
6 “A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.
These verses have been used completely out of context or their intent to somehow justify slavery in some situations today regarding slavery. That is nonsense! This has nothing to do with endorsing slavery, etc. This is strictly being used as an example of a lifestyle choice of obedience.
So what is this implying about obedience ? Well, think of the verses as an examples. A slave obeys his master. Secondly, the example of us being children and God being a Father is used. Both are word pictures of our relationship with God. Essentially the passage is implying a key to relationship with God is understanding he is in charge and we are not!
If one looks back to verse 2 one sees God’s reminder that he “loves” us. Now in these verses he is clarifying that love of us does not make us in charge. A father loves his son, but the father is the authority. I am not too certain about a slave master loving his slaves, but I am sure the concept of who is in charge comes through. Malachi is a message from God and though the book will proceed with many other examples of obedience and love these two point are the trust of the book. God loves us and us obeying him is the second key to the book of Malachi.
Sometimes if our modern world the only time we feel inspired by God’s word is when we read something like “God’s blessing” or a “miracle,” etc. However, God says one way we show love is by obeying him. In other words, these two concepts of God loving us and us obeying him clarify our roles, but also confirm our love of God.
How much do you love God today? Are you willing to obey him in every instance? Could you make your act of worship of God today be your obeying him?