God bless friends and family, I pray your year has been good so far. My classes start up again this week, so I've been busy getting myself back into the mode of learning...which I suppose we should always be in, now that I think about it. Anyway, I'm looking forward to growing in knowledge and wisdom this semester. I'm sure I will be posting about things I've learned now and then over the next couple of months.
As for today though, let's continue looking at Malachi Ch. 1; in my last entry we talked about vs. 6 and 7-today we will move forward to
10 “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. 11 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.
12 “But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible.’ 13 And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty.
First, let me say that Malachi chapter 1 is fantastic; there is so much to dig through and it's so relevant to our lives today-despite the fact that God is addressing a part of the O.T. law. I definitely understand why pastors like to use the book of Malachi when preaching about stewardship. It is a great book for that, but at it's core, the principles of stewardship are a heart issue-which is what the book of Malachi drives home so artfully. The other issue that comes into play with stewardship is being able to see the value of the local church and its mission.
Here in vs. 10-13, God is continuing to express His righteous anger at the temple priests. First, God says it would be better for the temple to be shut down than have the worthless sacrifices. Verse 11 is a Messianic prophecy about Christ's death as the ultimate sacrifice, and points to the fact that all people will one day be able to be children of Abraham.
Verses 12 and 13 are the ones that really stuck out to me-God is commenting on the fact that the priests are unable to see the value in their own role. It would be one thing if the people didn't recognize the importance of the priests and the true value of proper sacrifices-but the fact that the priests themselves are blind to their own peril, is much worse.
I wonder how many church leaders are out there who have lost sight of the value of what they do? They are trying to teach others how to live for and show honor to the Lord, meanwhile, their own spiritual condition is lame and sick. I pray that we never enter such a terrible place.