For the Gospel

Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior (Titus 2:9-10).

Paul wrote these very words to one of his friends and disciples in one of his letters, to Titus. In what we call chapter two of his prose, Paul is describing what the Christian household should look like. That older men should be: sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness (Titus 2:1-2). That older women should be: reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (Titus 2:3-5). And that younger men need to be: self-controlled (Titus 2:6). Paul instructs the household to live a Christian lifestyle, so that their very lives reflect Christ, so that their witnessing may not be obstructed by hypocrisy. He then instructs the last member of the household to: be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior. Continue reading

God is not Interested in Mutant Sheep and Puking Goats

“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?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD‘s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 1:6-8, ESV)

The book of Malachi takes place about 100 years after many of the Jews had returned from the Exile. Yahweh had allowed them once again to dwell in their Promise Land. The temple had been rebuilt, and so had the walls of Jerusalem. Under such men as Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, the Jews had outwardly rebuilt portions of their nation. However, the majority of them had not restored that which had caused them to be exiled in the first place–their hearts. Continue reading