Robbing God

Robbing God

“You also say, ‘My, how tiresome it is!’ And you disdainfully sniff at it.” Malachi 1:13

Malachi 1:6-13

 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?’”

 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!”

 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.”

 13 “You 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?”

Respect is one of the more gracious human sentiments. Respect is all about appreciation, regard, esteem, or honor. It is about considering someone or something important. Respect is the positive regard, the value one has for others. Respect for others begins with self-respect. Self-respect is feeling good about yourself without conceit.

The story is told of a young girl in middle school. She was different from the other students. She was friendly yet quiet. She always had a kind word for those around her. She consistently went out of her way to greet school staff and teachers. When in class she never interrupted the teacher and never talked back. While other kids were rude, even obnoxious, she was always gracious and courteous. Out of sheer curiosity, one of the students asked her why she acted the way she did. Her response is all about respect. She said, “I want to be respected for who I am. So I begin by respecting others first.”

REFLECT & PRAY

The Father deserves and desires our best. It is an affront to bring Him damaged goods and leftovers. 

Father reading Malachi reminds me of how unfaithful, even faithless I am. My heart is divided, my devotion is spotty. You deserve far better. Encourage me to do better. Thank you for forgiving me just as I am.

INSIGHT

The Father desires His children to live exemplary lives. The words of the Lord Jesus Christ and the apostles are quite clear about that. But it does not always work out that way. We often wind up ignoring and betraying the very words we say, teach, and aspire to obey. That is true for most every child of the King.

As these Reflections meander through the Scriptures, it is as though a pendulum moves back and forth between grace and judgment. If any of the Old Testament prophets exemplified the frustration, anger, and fury of the living God, it was Malachi. Malachi is the Father’s spokesman. It is almost as though Malachi’s words, emotions, sadness, and fury channel those of the King.

Malachi 1:6 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?’

In the military, soldiers are taught to salute the uniform, regardless of the person inside of it. But the Father’s standards are far higher and more difficult than that.

Have you ever wondered why churches have secondhand pianos? Could it be that their former owners have replaced them with new pianos and donated what they no longer wanted to God? I have never owned a piano, so I can never give Him a secondhand piano. But how often am I guilty of giving Him leftovers, rather than the best that I have.

Malachi 1:8 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!”  

We would never consider doing something like this to human authorities, they would laugh at us or worse. And what about the IRS?

But when it comes to the Father, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, we somehow see things entirely differently. Do we actually think He does not see what we do and know what is in our hearts? Do we really believe that when it comes to the all-seeing, all-knowing God, out of sight, is out of mind?

When we assemble in places where people think and act like this, what is the Father’s preference? He tearfully says, shut them down!

Malachi 1:10 “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 and I will not accept your offerings.”

Just imagine Him coming to the door of your heart, your home, or your local church and wrapping yellow tape around it. The tape reads: “crime scene, do not cross!”

Really? Yes really! Our disdainful and worthless efforts are like stealing from Him. And that is exactly what He calls it.

Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’

The people were in total denial. When we rob God, we reveal our arrogance and lack of respect for Him. Too often we demonstrate a pretentious, above it all attitude.  

Malachi 1:13 “You say, ‘It’s too hard to serve the LORD,’ and you turn up your noses at my commands.”

He is the King of Kings and deserves our best.

Comments, Suggestions, Requests are sought and welcome.

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