Malachi 1:13—”But you say, What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord.”
When we believers back slide, it does not happen one fine day or overnight. It is a slow process that starts with one thing, for example, we miss church because we were late and want to be seated from the first song on, or maybe we couldn’t attend the weekly prayer group because we had a deadline for our project, perhaps the monthly bible study? And because we missed this habitual event in our life, the time got freed up and we got to take part in another activity which we would normally not be a part of, especially at that time. Ofcourse it goes without saying that it felt good (athough guilt will hit us later) because Satan’s tempts are usually more fun or elating than Jesus discipline and praiseworthy-to-God acts when we indulge in them.
The temple priests in those days began to look at the offerings and their duties are mundane instead of giving their best to God; we are likened to them when we backslide. At the time, we may also be reluctant to do what we ought to as Christians to follow the Word and to please God. If we can be conscious to behave and work for our boss, the king, or those in authority, how much more should we revere and fear to please our faithful God, giver of good things, Master of all, our Father? Our relation to God, as our Father and Master, strongly obliges us to fear and honor him.
Sinners ruin themselves by trying to baffle themselves of their own convictions. Those who live in careless neglect of their holy works, who attend the holy works without reverence, and go from them under no concern, in effect say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. Like the priests, they despised God’s name in what they did. It is evident that they didn’t understand the meaning of the sacrifices – shadowing the unblemished Lamb of God. Instead of revering offerings to God, they grudged the expense, thinking it all as thrown away and that which did not give them any profit.
When we worship God ignorantly, and without understanding, we bring the blind for sacrifice; if we do it carelessly, if we are cold, dull, and dead in it, we bring the sick; if we rest in the bodily exercise, and do not make heart-work of it, we bring the lame; and if we suffer vain thoughts and distractions to lodge within us, we bring the torn. And isn’t this evil? Is it not a great insult to God, and a great wrong and injury to our own souls? In order to have God acceptance our actions, it is not enough to do that which is only good; but in addition to what we do, the motive behind it, the right manner and the right end also matters. The constant mercies that we receive from God make us more lazy and complacent to our duty to God. A spiritual worship shall be established signifying prayer and praise. And it shall be a pure offering. When the hour came, the true worshippers worshipped the Father in Spirit and in truth. We may rely on God’s mercy for pardon of our past, but not for indulgence to sin in our future. If there be a willing mind even if defective, it will be accepted; but if any be a deceiver, devoting his best to Satan and to his lusts, he is under a curse. Some wayward men now a days profane the name of the Lord, pollute His table, and show contempt for His worship.
Walking by faith in the Lord is not an easy path. It comes with a journey to constantly recognize that: we aren’t perfect, we seek and maintain peace around us, and try to live with honor and integrity. But that we learn to grow and walk according to God’s commands is part of our relationship with God. Don’t turn up your nose, it’s not too hard! Along the path you will be rewarded and blessed greatly. Are you regularly seeking to learn more of God’s ways?