– paraphrase of Malachi 1:6-7
– You priests are the ones who are defiling my name. “but how” you may ask. By putting defiled food on my altar. “But how does that defile You?” you say. By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible!
– The real verse: “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
– The people have returned from exile, rebuilt the temple that even though it was puny, it would have a greater presence of God’s glory than ever before, and have begun to offer sacrifices. But the sacrifices they bring are the dregs of what they own. The leftovers, the less that desirable from their flocks and herds and posessions.
– Many people in my culture give away their old widget when they buy a new widget. That is good, that keeps things from going to waste. But in terms of the church, don’t regard it as a sacrifice. I know we are under grace and not the law, and that no sacrifice can draw us any closer to God than Jesus’ sacrifice has already brought us, but in terms of the heart, I think we should take a closer look at hand-me-downs.
– When we’re in the position of “I’ll give away my old one because I’m planning on buying a new one,” here is the heart check. Are we baptizing our greed and calling it generosity? Are we taking our desire for excess and the newest and the latest and spiritualizing it because we are giving away the stuff that is perfectly good to someone that needs it. That’s good right? yeah, it’s good to give somebody what they need, but would you just go out and by them a new one? Would you go to the trouble of selling the old one, and then giving that person the money? Even better, would you decide that you want to do to others what you want them to do to you, and since you want a new widget, you go out and buy them a new widget instead, making due with whatever you have?
– The priests that Malachi was talking to didn’t even know they were doing wrong. They could have, because it is written “When he is made aware of the sin he committed, he must bring as his offering a male goat without defect.” (Lev. 4:23) But God has to tell them three times what they are doing because their hearts have hardened towards God. They may even have learned these practices from the earlier priests, and heard spiritual reasons why it was ok, but they could have still seen the truth in the Law.
– Then it says “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar!” (Mal. 1:10) God is saying that He would SO rather people not even offer sacrifices‚Äö?Ñ?¨not even enter His temple, than what they are doing now.
– “My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings wil be brought to (5602) my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty” (Mal. 1:11)
– 5602, Nagash: to come near, approach, draw near, touch, present. Essentially denotes coming into proximity to an object. Can mean approaching someone to kiss.
– from every tongue, tribe, and nation God will have true worshippers. They won’t have to go to any temple or any sacred place, because THEY will be the temple, THEY will be made sacred by the blood of the Lamb.
– “But you profane it by saying of the Lord‚Äö’ 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. (Mal. 1:12-13)
– this was convicting to me because I know I’ve said things like this about going to church, participating in Bible studies, and other things that I know God is asking me to do. It’s gross, I don’t want to, excuse, excuse, excuse. The sorriest thing about that, in my case usually anyway, is that the things that God asks me to do really are for my own good, and for His glory. If I knew that, then would I ever make my lazy or cowardly excuses?
– ‘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.’ Mal (1:14)
– What if we did a flippety-flop of this verse: “If anyone says, ‚Äö’I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1John 4:20)
– How often do I do something to God that I would never ever do to somebody I see every day. Do I say I’ll meet Him and don’t show up? Do I fall asleep in the middle of an important conversation? Do I say wait a minute, and get up and walk away, going on to do something else like play my playstation, instead of sitting and talking with my lover and my master? Do I take the bigger ice cream cone for myself and give the smaller one that is melting to my love? I think I will take these questions with me, and see what other crippled, diseased, injured, blemished sacrifices I’m offering.