Impure Worship

Malachi 1:6–14 (NKJV)

6 “A son honors his father,

And a servant his master.

If then I am the Father,

Where is My honor?

And if I am a Master,

Where is My reverence?

Says the Lord of hosts

To you priests who despise My name.

Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’

The next disputation to be debated in Malachi relates to the reverence of God by His people, especially the reverence to be shown in worship.  Again, God brings and accusation against the people (the priests despise His name), and they ask for an explanation (In what way have we despised Your name?).

7 “You offer defiled food on My altar,

But say,

‘In what way have we defiled You?’

By saying,

‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’

8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice,

Is it not evil?

And when you offer the lame and sick,

Is it not evil?

Offer it then to your governor!

Would he be pleased with you?

Would he accept you favorably?”

Says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord then explains that the priests offer defiled food on the altar, blind, lame, and sick animals for sacrifice.  He even mockingly encourages them to offer the same weak offerings to their governor, knowing that he would not be pleased.

9 “But now entreat God’s favor,

That He may be gracious to us.

While this is being done by your hands,

Will He accept you favorably?”

Says the Lord of hosts.

10 “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors,

So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain?

I have no pleasure in you,”

Says the Lord of hosts,

“Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.

11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down,

My name shall be great among the Gentiles;

In every place incense shall be offered to My name,

And a pure offering;

For My name shall be great among the nations,”

Says the Lord of hosts.

The Lord further instructs the priests to change their ways, repent and ask for God’s grace, for He will not accept their offering as presented.  The Gentiles will rise up and bless the Lord, and His name will be great among the nations.  This is another futuristic prophecy that all nation will serve God, not just the Jews.

12 “But you profane it,

In that you say,

‘The table of the Lord is defiled;

And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’

13 You also say,

‘Oh, what a weariness!’

And you sneer at it,”

Says the Lord of hosts.

“And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick;

Thus you bring an offering!

Should I accept this from your hand?”

Says the Lord.

14 “But cursed be the deceiver

Who has in his flock a male,

And takes a vow,

But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished—

For I am a great King,”

Says the Lord of hosts,

“And My name is to be feared among the nations.

This final indictment describes the priests’ contempt for the altar, their criticism of the food, and their own failure to provide the proper sacrifice to the Lord.  Therefore, the people bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick, and the priests do not stop them.  The Lord even pronounces a curse on all those who offer what is not required.  

Today, this message brings us to a realization that worship is to be offered to God with our best.  Too often, pastors and worship leaders do not offer God their best.  Whether because of busyness of schedule of because of carelessness or apathy, we give God a lame or blemished worship.  This passage from Malachi should encourage us to give our best, our most, our first to God in all things, especially in our worship.  God is worthy of our best!  So, repent and turn your heart to God in a way that inspires you to offer Him the best in prayer, Bible study, corporate worship, and simply a life that glorifies God.  Do not be a Christian in name only when God is looking for Christians that love Him deeply and worship Him fully.

Artwork from https://www.crosscards.com/cards/facebook-ecards/02192016-malachi-1-11-social.html

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