Every parent has had “THAT DAY”! When this day hits, all the forces of darkness align and the child we care for has decided to unleash terror on the earth by completely and totally melting down. If you think this is rare, you either have never had a child or your name is Mary or Joseph. When THAT DAY goes off like a bomb, the child can be found screaming, hitting, and freaking out. Their parent can be found sighing, praying, and losing.
The book of Malachi is about THAT DAY! The children of God (young and old) have decided to declare war on God with a tantum of biblical proportions. Observing God’s response teaches us a lot about our relationship with Him and also has some tips for parents.
For starters, God reminds everyone who is on the floor kicking and screaming that He is the Father. In Malachi 1:6 He says, “I am a father”. In Malachi 2:10, He reminds everyone that they don’t really have any other parent since He’s their “one Father”. By revealing Himself as a Father, God is to be known as both in authority (sovereign), and relational (love). Next, we learn five things about God as our Father.
- God knows what His kids are saying, doing, and thinking. The entire book of Malachi is a conversation between the Father and His kids as he responds to the litany of accusations that they are hurling at Him for being a bad dad.
- God calls a family meeting. If your dad ever called everyone to together to sit on the couch, or gather around the table, to have an important family discussion then you understand the tone of Malachi.
- God does not act like a sibling. When a child declares war on a parent by yelling accusations, throwing a fit, and making a scene, it’s a tempting moment for the parent to stop acting like a parent and start acting like a sibling. Worn down, a parent can start yelling back at the child, getting offended by the false accusations, and throw their own form of a fit. When this happens, the parent loses their authority and starts acting like one of the kids rather than the parent. God does not do this.
- God meets us where we are to walk us to where we should be. As you read Malachi (something you can do in roughly 15 minutes), you’ll quickly realize that it is raw, real, and rough. But like any great parent, God the Father comes to the kids, speaks calmly, takes their hand, and begins the walk with them from where they are to where they should be.
- God starts with love. Despite the children of God inciting the equivalent of a prison riot at the church, God answers their nasty question in Malachi 1:2, “How have you loved us?” not by getting defensive but rather remaining devoted saying, “‘I have loved you,’ says the Lord.”
Of the five things listed above about God the Father, which strikes you most? Why?