Malachi 1:6-14 (KJV)

6   The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name!
“But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’
7   “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.
“Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?1:7 As in Greek version; Hebrew reads defiled you?’
“You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect.
8   When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
9   “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
10“How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. 11But my name is honored1:11a Or will be honored. by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer1:11b Or will offer. sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
12“But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it’s all right to defile the Lord’s table. 13You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the Lord,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Think of it! Animals that are stolen and crippled and sick are being presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?” asks the Lord.
14“Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and my name is feared among the nations!

The prophet Malachi wrote approximately a century after Israel had returned from Babylonian captivity and rebuilt both Jerusalem and the temple.

Although there’d been a revival under Nehemiah, by this point the nation had lost its zeal and drifted into mechanical worship.

Instead of offering unblemished animals on the altar as prescribed in the Law, they were bringing God the leftovers of their flocks—the sick, blind, and lame.

The people and the priests had become so lax in their worship that they didn’t recognize anything was wrong with these unacceptable practices.

Because they had neglected and dishonored the Lord for so long, they no longer knew who He was.

As a result, they were not giving Him the reverence He deserved.

Although our form of worship no longer consists of animal sacrifices, we may be guilty of the same sin: giving God the leftovers.

Like the priests in Malachi 1:13 who considered worship tiresome, we might think,

There are so many other things we could do if we didn’t have to go to church every Sunday morning.

But worship isn’t limited to one day out of seven.

It should be expressed all week in our devotion to Christ. If we make other activities the priorities in our life, we won’t give God our best.

Filling our calendars to overflowing leaves little time or energy for praying, reading the Word, or serving the Lord in some way.

Yet these are the activities that enrich our relationship with God—they inspire us to worship and honor the Lord by giving Him our best.

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