"But now will you not entreat God's favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.
Insights: The journey leading to today’s verse has been progressive in nature and we will review this journey a few times over the next couple of weeks. The trek goes like this: Israel did not love God, but ought to have. If they did not love God, they ought to have at least honored Him, but they did not. If they did not honor Him, they ought to have at least respected Him, but they did not. And because they did not love, honor or respect God, they brought Him defiled worship. These preceding statements were the path the Israelites walked leading up to today’s verse. In previous days, I stated, and still hold to, the notion that the church of America is following the same pilgrimage the Israelites took. And it is at this point that today’s verse is an absolutely pathetic joke and insult to the Lord God. After not loving God, not honoring God, not respecting God, these Israelites had the self-centered audacity to ask God to bless them and show His favor on them. This lunacy is communicated in the word “entreat” which means to pacify or appease someone. Think about those two words for a moment, pacify and appease. When we are pacifying or appeasing someone the majority of the time we are not really acting in the other person’s interests, but rather our own. Think about a baby for a moment. We even call the thing we give to them a pacifier. The baby is crying for food and for whatever reason we don’t think it is the right time to give them food. So, we give them a pacifier with which they can suck and pretend they are eating. The baby is getting no nutrition from the pacifier, but the crying has stopped and about that is all we really cared. Israel is giving defiled worship, but at least they are giving something; therefore, God is appeased and ought to grant their request. Beloved, do you see the craziness of such a request? God responds with a rhetorical question that has an obviously negative answer. No, God is not going to answer such a request.
- Do you have the audacity to give the Lord defiled worship and then proceed to ask for His favor?
- If you are living with this kind of self-centered gall, are you willing to repent and turn to God and give Him the worship He rightfully deserves?
Prayer: Father, forgive me for coming to You with my selfish heart and asking You to bless me. Forgive me, especially, when I am giving You defiled worship and yet still make these kind of selfish requests. May my heart be transformed and my love abound for You and You alone. Amen.