"'A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, 'How have we despised Your name?'
Insights: This verse has so many points to it. It comes right after the dialogue God had with Israel about their lack of love for Him. So, the conversation, in modern day vernacular, would have gone something like this: “You, Israel, ought to have loved Me, but you did not. If you refused to love Me, you ought to have at least honored Me for being your Father, but you did not. If you refused to honor Me, you ought to have at least respected Me for My position as Master over your lives, but you did not.” What a tragic conversation God was having with these stiff-necked people. Let’s dig a little deeper. The word translated respect in verse six literally means fear. W. Eichrodt helps us understand biblical fear when he wrote, “Certainly ‘respect’ does not adequately express what God’s holiness should arouse in us. Respect calls for politeness and such gestures as taking off one’s hat, but fear results in awe and obedience.” I think the church has lost its fear and awe of God. These priests in today’s verse, however, went even further. Not only had they lost their honor and respect for God, they also despised Him. E. Ray Clendenen helps us here, “it was not an ‘attitude of revulsion, but of treating something as if it were insignificant or worthless.’” The particular participle used in this verse indicates this attitude was an ongoing contempt for God. In other words, day in and day out, these “worshippers” entered into the temple and were unimpressed with God. They saw His works as being insignificant and worthless and as a result stopped honoring and respecting Him. Because of such an ongoing attitude, they despised the name of God. By despising His name they were breaking the third commandment (Ex. 20:7). There are always exceptions, but as a general rule, I really do believe this attitude is characteristic of the average church attender. We go to church, but don’t really expect God to show up. Because we don’t anticipate His arrival, we don’t really give Him honor and respect. Because of such an attitude, our hearts truly condemn us. This condemnation proves we down deep really despise God. And because we despise Him, we break His commands. Beloved, we need to repent and turn to God.
- When you go to worship are you expecting God to wow you?
- Has God become unimpressive to you?
Prayer: Father, forgive me for not having proper fear and honor of You. Forgive me for taking You for granted. Let my heart be drawn to You and have the awe restored to my worship. Amen.