Here Comes …. Malachi !! And a stinging rebuke..

 

Malachi 1:6

Polluted Offerings
    6 “ A son honors his father,
And a servant his master.
If then I am the Father,
Where is My honor?
And if I am a Master,
Where is My reverence?
Says the LORD of hosts
To you priests who despise My name.
Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
God is using truisms here.  A father and a master can expect honor and respect from those beneath them, but God was not being honored as He should be- God was not receiving the the honor due Him.  The people were bringing in for the animal sacrifices, blind, crippled and diseased animals- Gods law required that the sacrifices be perfect animals. They were dishonoring God by offering up imperfect sacrifices and God was very displeased. The priests were allowing this to happen.  What we give to God reflects our attitude toward Him. We repeat this same sin when we give only of our leftover time, money, and energy. What we bring to God should be valuable and not the left overs, we should give our first fruits to God.
I am the Father- The image of God as Father is more common in the NT than in the OT.
To you priests who despise My name.- In ancient Israel, a name was a symbol of a person’s character, works, and reputation- this is a very serious charge! Yet the people had the audacity to ask :

‘In what way have we despised Your name?’
God’s answer was in terms of defiled food. This is a description of bread that was not prepared properly.  The bread and table on which it was displayed were holy symbols, and the priests treated them like ordinary items.
How often do we take for granted the privilege and honor of receiving the Lord’s Supper? Do we come to the table with an improper attitude?  The bread and the cup are Holy Symbols and much more than that. Do we drop in the offering what is convinet? Should not our sacrifice be perfect as the Lamb that sacrifices Himself for us?  During the time of the Eucharist, we should be looking in several different directions- one is inward in self examination seeking to find the times we fell short and why we yielded to the temptations, and asking forgiveness and then truly repenting, another direction should be back to the cross, realizing that it is because of our sins that Jesus had to die to atone for our sins, seeing the agony, the pain, the blood, that Jesus so willingly offered Himself as the sin sacrifice on our behalf, now leave the guilt and shame there , that is the present from us that He desires. Now we must look forward to the empty tomb and know that He is who He said He was, and the proof to this is the Resurrection. Once again we must look back, not forgetting that He hung on the cross, but realizing that the cross in now empty, and the tomb is now empty- both signs of victory. Yet Once more, we need to look forward to His glorious return, when the enemy will suffer his final defeat by the Lion of Judah- yet this not forget that before the Lion He was the Sacrificial Lamb.
This is my body broken for you- take and eat
This is the blood of the new covenant shed for the remission of sins- drink ye all of it
What does Jesus want you to do to honor Him? He wants you to lay all of your sins, all of your shame, all of your guilt at the cross.  The He wants you to come to Him and let Him change you from the inside through the Holy Spirit and become a living sacrifice to honor Him by doing His will.
So lets make sure we are not making the same mistake the people of Israel and the priests made by treating something holy as something ordinary and treating what we give to God as common place too, we should offer to Him the very best, whether it is money, time, or  talents,- these things are blessed by God and that makes them holy too.
Merry Chris Mass!
Trivia question:  Who did the angel Gabriel appear to first?
a. Mary
b. Elizabeth
c. Zechariah
d. Zacharias
e. Luke Skywalker
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