DEVOTION: Does God Look At Your Offerings With Favor?

In spite of their rebellious lifestyles against God, the men of Judah continued presenting their offerings and petitions before the Lord.  But God was not answering their prayers. It appears that these men were very desperate, yet God wasn’t answering their prayers. Their desperation was evident before the Lord. The prophet Malachi acknowledges this.

Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor on your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands.  Malachi 2:13

 Even though they were faithfully presenting their offerings, the Lord was no longer looking with favor upon their offerings; neither was He accepting them.   The prophet Malachi did not leave his people wondering why. He gave them the reason.

You ask, “Why?” It is because the Lord is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Malachi 2:14

These men were unfaithful to their wives and God witnessed their unfaithfulness. In other words, God was seeing all that they were doing. The consequence for this kind of rebellious lifestyle, as the Prophet Malachi says, was that God did not look upon their offerings with favor.

It is the reason why today’s devotion is titled: Does God Look At Your Offerings With Favor?

APPLICATION:

1.    Are you wondering why God is not answering any of your prayers and yet you are faithfully giving your tithes and love offerings to the Lord? If so, then you need to examine your lifestyle.

a.    Is it possible that you are living a rebellious life?

b.    While sin is not the only reason why God will not answer prayers, it is a major hindrance to prayer.

c.     Are you in any way violating any clear instructions from the Lord?

d.     Then if your answer is yes, confess your sins to the Lord.

2.    Remember what Malachi, the prophet told these men? God was a witness of their unfaithfulness to their wives.

a.     Whatever you have done or are doing now, God is seeing.

b.     This means He does not need any other witnesses.

c.     This should scare you because He is the Judge and the witness of whatever you have ever done, doing, or will do.

d.     Someone has said that there are two people you cannot lie to; God and yourself.

e.     So what is the truth about the above question?

3.    Someone may say, how can God see all these tears flooded before His altar and not be merciful? And these tears were too much. Malachi said, these men had flooded the Lord’s altar with tears. So did God see these tears? Yes, He did! But why didn’t He have mercy on them? Why couldn’t He overlook their sins and answer their prayers?

a.     We must always remember that God is not only merciful. He is also righteous, Holy, Just, etc.

                                              i.      As a Judge He must administer justice to the one who is guilty.

                                             ii.      As a Holy God, He cannot accept anything that is not pure.

                                           iii.      As a righteous Judge, He will always do what is right. He cannot bend the law in order to be merciful to the one who is guilty.

b.    When the children of Israel rebelled against God by refusing to enter the promised land, and threaten to stone Moses, and Aaron, God told Moses He will destroy all of them then make him a great nation.  Here are God’s words.

                                              i.      The Lord said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them?  I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.” Numbers 14:11-12

c.    Now read Moses’s response to God

                                              i.     Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: ‘The Lord is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.” Numbers 14:17-19

d.    And this was God’s response to this plea from Moses

                                              i.     The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked.  Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. Numbers 14:20-23

e.    This is a beautiful passage that illustrates how God’s attributes interact without any one of them being ignored. His Justice demanded punishment because as a holy God, He could no longer relate to the rebellious people. (Sin by definition is rebellion against God). As a righteous God, the right thing to do was to administer Justice by punishing them. But as a loving and merciful God, He responded to the plea of Moses who pleaded with Him to forgive them. And being a gracious God, He forgave them.

f.      Can you see what was missing from these men who flooded God’s altar with tears? A plea for the forgiveness of their sins. They did everything else except, to deal with their sins by asking God to forgive them.

4.    It does not matter how many tears you shed or how many offerings you present to God, unless you deal with the sin that hinders your prayers, God will not bend his laws for you. To state it differently, God cannot contradict Himself by what He does. In other words, He cannot violate any of His attributes.

5.    Is there anything else that you have learned from this passage?

Another thing you do: You flood the Lord’s altar with tears.

You weep and wail because he no longer looks with favor

 On your offerings or accepts them with

 Pleasure from your hands.

 Malachi 2:13

So what is your answer

To this question

DOES GOD LOOK AT YOUR OFFERINGS WITH FAVOR?

-By Pastor Shadrack Ruto

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