Wow, I can't believe it's 2023...I will be making the mistake of writing 2022 for about the next 6 months. I pray you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year. I took a bit of time off of writing in the blog, so focus on some personal issues (nothing bad, just areas of growth). Anyway, at OFA I began a new series on Sunday (the 1st). It is on the book of Malachi. The series is titled "Fresh Faith." Today, I want to discuss a bit of what I'll be covering this upcoming Sunday.
Next Sunday I will be covering Malachi 1: 6-14; today though, let's just look at vs. 6 and part of 7.
Malachi 1: 6-7a
6 “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.
“It is you priests who show contempt for my name.
“But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’
7 “By offering defiled food on my altar.
The first 5 verses of Malachi ch. 1 are all about God reassuring Israel how much He loves them by comparing His choice of Jacob over Esau. Then, in vs. 6 the Lord begins to address the priests-calling them out on their lack of leadership and reverence for His temple (in general) and the sacrificial commandment (in particular). God was not pleased because the priests were allowing "defiled" or polluted meat to be placed upon the altar as a sacrifice. Why was this a big deal to God? Well, there are a few reasons, but the main one (I believe) is because the offering given was not a true sacrifice. God calls us to offer up our best, the unblemished, something that is worth something to us; defiled or polluted meat is simply a left over, something that you didn't want in the first place.
This takes me back to the story of Cain and Able, where one sacrifice was accepted and one was rejected. Why did God reject Cain's sacrifice? God rejected it because Cain failed to offer up something of value, something that was hard for him to let go. Able on the other hand, offered up the firstborn animal, which was a very significant offering back then.
Here is the point: the value of our sacrifice determines how we value the Lord! In Malachi, the priests offered up defiled meat because they did not value the significance of what they were doing.
This can apply to so many areas of our lives today. This is where so many people get it wrong-you see, we do not give offerings and make "sacrifices" to the Lord to get something in return-we do it because we want to honor the Lord. I'll do my best to make a follow up blog later this week. God Bless.