Several years ago, I was riding down the highway with my husband, Mark. I was focused on my phone and answering emails from my employees or upper management. I was a Store Manager and seemed to always have something that needed attention.
What I didn’t realize, was that I was not giving my husband the attention he deserved. I had my mind on work even on my day off. Finally he said something along the lines of, “I wish you paid as much attention to me as you do that “Blackberry”… well then. That got my attention.
I was not spending quality time with my husband. Not really. My mind was somewhere else, and Mark was getting what was “left over”. I was allowing other things to take precedence over our time together. That must have hurt his feelings. Unfortunately, I had not taken his feelings into account.
What About Our Lord’s Feelings?
Then, I think about how we must hurt God by allowing other things to take precedence over Him. Sadly, and to our shame, Satan. Sin and the world sometimes have our attention and we sin against Him.
There are times and occasions when we do not give Him our very best, we try to offer God, “leftovers”. For example, when we come to worship grudgingly, when worship is not a priority, when we make it to the building but sit there halfway listening because we are too worried about what we are having for lunch or we’re mad that the Preacher for preaching an extra long sermon. Sadly, we try to offer God the “leftovers” of what he has so greatly blessed us, (What is rightfully His) our paycheck, our example, our time, talents, abilities, attention, our very lives.
As I am looking at and reading verses 6-14 of the first chapter of Malachi, I am struck by several things that cause me to take a closer look at myself.
Read Malachi 1:6-14 with me:
Verses 6-10: A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts. Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
The people of Israel, (His people) did not give God their best. They were offering lame and blind sacrifices and there was no honor in them. They showed a disrespect and disdain for their Lord by their actions. They still went through the motions of sacrifice, but their hearts were not in it..
Can you imagine what makes my stomach drop in these verses? All of it! Look at His condemnation of them, look at His words. He had no pleasure in them! These verses should make us take a HARD look at our own selves, at our own lives, at our worship we offer Him. Does God have pleasure in us? In our lives that we lead? In our worship? Are we offering the leftovers of what we are and what we have been so greatly blessed with? Do we sit on the pew singing and listening to preaching because it’s a habit or do we wake up on Sunday mornings raring to go, thinking of the privilege that is ours to enjoy? Thankful for another day of life he has so richly blessed us with? Knowing and understanding that this day BELONGS to the Lord and we are to honor HIM by worshiping Him in spirit and truth?
Verses 11-14: For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible. Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD. But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the LORD a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
God had done so much for the people of Israel. He blessed them beyond their imaginations! He deserved the best they had to offer but they did not care. They offered God the worst they had and kept the best for themselves.
Not only did God deserve the very best, He required the very best to be sacrificed to Him. The people didn’t care what God required. They even went so far to say it was a weariness. They were tired of serving God and felt it was a hardship.
They were greedy. Greedy with their material items. Greedy with their time. Just greedy. What about us? Do we begrudge God the few hours a week we have service at the building? Do we have so called “better things” to do than attend Bible class on Wednesday evening? What about Sunday morning? Do we try to take time away from God? The time that is rightfully His?
Jesus is clear in John 4: 23-24: “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
The true worshippers are the ones who truly and sincerely worship God. They have complied with His commands of entrance into His Kingdom. They have become His children and as such, they worship God with their heart and not just their body, according to His word, according as He has set forth.
We worship God in spirit with our mind, our soul, our heart according to His word, the Bible. We do this because God seeks this type of worship. He seeks it and we must worship Him the way He sets forth. NOT the way we decide to.
Are we like the Israelites described in Malachi? Does God look at our worship and our lives as unacceptable in His sight? I shiver to think so.
Still yet, if you find that you are reminded of “yourself” when you study the people of Israel, you have time and opportunity to repent! Time to comply with Gods commands of entrance into His Kingdom.
If you are not a Christian, you have time and opportunity to become one!
1. Hear the Gospel. (Romans 10:17, John 8:32)
2. Believe the Gospel (Hebrews 11:6, John 20:31)
3. Repent of past sins (Luke 13:3, Acts 17:30)
4. Confess faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:10, Matthew 10:32)
5. Be Baptized (Galatians 3:27, Mark 16:16, Acts 2:38)
6. Be faithful unto death (Revelation 2:10)
As a child of God, if you see where you have failed, where you have been lacking, if you realize you have been offering God, your Father, the “leftovers”, there is good news! You have continual access to the Blood of Christ! You can repent.
As always, I am here to study any time. Day or night!
In Christian Love, Leah Brewer