By questioning and doubting the love of God in their lives, these exiles begun to dishonor their God. They seem to have forgotten who God is and the importance and requirement of their relationship with God. This led to the following questions from God:
A son honors his father, and a slave 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. Malachi 1:6
But then God points out who are the culprits were for this.
It is you priests who show contempt for my name. Malachi 1:6b.
In spite of their actions to the contrary, these priests wondered how they had committed this evil.
But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name? Malachi 1:6c
God answered them:
By offering defiled food on my altar. Malachi 1:7a
But still these priests wondered how they had defiled God’s altar.
But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you? Malachi 1:7b
This time God gave an elaborate description of their evil practice.
By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Malachi 1:7c -8a
Then God continued to give this challenge:
Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 1:7c
The answer to this question is no, the governor would not accept this kind of gift. God paused another challenge:
Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 1:9
To express His distaste of this evil practice, God says:
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 offering from your hands.
In spite of this, God will receive honor from other nations.
My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 1:10-11
Then God continued to show how these people had no fear of God.
But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible.’ And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 1:12-13a
And this is how they sniffed at it contemptuously:
When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. Malachi 1:13b
Then God gives an exclamation for His displeasure:
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. Malachi 1:14b
Here is why:
For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.
- How are we doing compared to these exiles and their priests? Do we dishonor God in any way?
- There are many ways that modern Christians dishonor God. It all emanates from our view of God’s house. Modern Christians have somehow lost the reverence for the house of God. This has led to dishonor for our God in His house and in our homes. There are religions that have a better view of the temple of their gods and give great honor to these gods. If pagans can do this for their gods how much should we honor our God?
- Here are some questions to help you examine yourself:
- Are your offerings to God a left over from your shopping? In other words, do you set aside what to give to God weekly? Or do you only check your pocket/wallet on Sunday Morning to see what is left in order to give it to God. If your answer is yes to this question, then you are dishonoring God with your offerings.
- Are your tithes and other love offerings to God written on your budget?
- Before you enter God’s house, do you prepare yourself in order to properly enter? Once you have entered, does your attitude and mood change because you are in God’s house?
- Do you dishonor God in how you talk about His house?
- Have you promised God something and then changed it and gave him something else? This is what He says about it?
“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.
- If God was to give you His analysis on how you treat Him, how would he rate your respect on a scale of 1-10, ten being the highest score.
- In what other way has this passage spoken to you?
A son honors his father, and a slave 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.
By Pastor Shadrack Ru