Having a Q and A with God
In the short book of Malachi, there is a reoccurring phrase “but you ask” (along with a few of variations thereof). This turns into a Question and Answer monologue, with God voicing the people’s unspoken questions and then responding. It’s like having a Q and A with God.
Malachi records the whole thing, allowing us to explore the exchange and consider what God has to say. Although Malachi’s culture is vastly different from our reality, there are still lessons we can learn—if we are willing.
Q: How have you loved us?
Q: How have we shown contempt for your name?
A: By giving me defiled offerings (Malachi 1:6-7).
Q: How have we defiled you?
A: By giving to me what is not suitable for anyone else (Malachi 1:7-8).
Q: Why do you no longer pay attention to our offerings or accept them?
A: You have been unfaithful to your wife and broken your marriage vows (Malachi 2:13-14).
Q: How have we wearied you?
A: By doing bad, yet claiming it is good and pleases me (Malachi 2:17).
Q: How are we to return to you?
A: Stop robbing me (Malachi 3:7-8).
Q: How do we rob you?
A: By withholding some of your tithes and offerings (Malachi 3:8-10).
Q: What have we said against you?
A: By saying it is futile to serve me when I don’t bless you for doing what is expected (Malachi 3:13-14).
Summary of a Q and A with God
These eight exchanges address the people’s relationship with God, discussing love, defiling, and contempt. It talks about offerings that don’t matter. About the people wearying God, robbing from him, and speaking against him. And buried in the middle of the exchange is a prescription for how to return to God.
Now, let’s apply the Q and A with God to us today.
Learn more about all twelve of the Bible’s Minor Prophets in Peter’s new book, Dear Theophilus, Minor Prophets: 40 Prophetic Teachings about Unfaithfulness, Punishment, and Hope
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.