Here I’ve been working my way through the Old Testament, and I come across this very short—but powerful—book, Malachi; the last of the old testament prophets. All four chapters have something remarkable to say, but the second half of chapter one really jumped out at me.
“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty. “It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ You place defiled food on my altar. But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty. “Oh that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offerings from your hands. My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty. “But you profane it by saying of the Lord’s table, ‘It is defiled,’ and of its food, ‘It is contemptible.’ And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty. “When you bring injured, crippled or diseased animals and off them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” (Malachi 1:6-14)
Now, you may be wondering okay, ‘what does she get from that? It’s about sacrificial offerings, which we no longer must do.’ Yes, but here’s my question…do you offer God your best? Do you offer Him your most precious time and energy, or does He get the leftovers? Do you offer Him your first fruits, your very best, or does God get your injured, crippled and diseased?
Some of the ladies at church, have been working our way through, Tammie Head’s bible study—Duty or Delight—and as I read these verses in Malachi, I realized that the Israelites Malachi was speaking to, didn’t delight in serving God; they felt it burdensome. Serving God ought not be a burden, but a delight…an honor! We’re serving the King of Kings! The God of Heaven and Earth! The God who loves us so dearly that He sent His one and only Son into this world to suffer and die for our sake; because He wants to be our most trusted and dearly loved friend; the lover of our souls! He deserves our VERY BEST in everything, because He is the great king, and yet, He loves even the lowliest and most sinful of us all! How amazing is that!? What king/queen do you know that cares about people at the individual level? Who actually goes out of their way to build a personal relationship with each one of us? ONLY ONE and His name is Yahweh.