Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Worship Defiled

Scripture: Malachi 1:7-8
"You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, 'How have we defiled You?' In that you say, 'The table of the LORD is to be despised.' "But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.

Insights: In verse seven God accuses Israel of bringing defiled food to His altar.  This word defiled is a play on words.  There is another word which is more often used to describe food that is bad or defiled.  But God wanted to compare their offerings to their attitude of despising Him found in verse six.  Look at these two transliterations of each of these words.  In verse seven “defiled” in Hebrew is ga’al.  In verse six “despise” in Hebrew is ga╩Żal.  Notice the only difference is the apostrophe’s direction.  So, God is doing a play on words.  He is really telling Israel the offerings they bring are really abhorrent and loathsome and it is because they despise God that they are bringing such worthless offerings to worship.  Some reading this thought might be saying to themselves, “This portion of the letter is really being writing to the priests or ministers.  It does not apply to me.”  Let me quote Ron Brown for a moment.  He wrote, “While the priests bore responsibility for the deficient way worship was conducted, the people weren’t exempt from the accusation.  Yes, the priests were guilty of offering defective offerings, but the offerings came from the people.  They too were guilty of dishonoring God by their misplaced priorities.”  Brown goes on to ask a potent question.  He asked, “How do we ‘blame’ our pastors and others when we’ve failed to worship?”  God created us to be a worshipful people.  We worship sports, materialism, jobs, family, hunting, power, etc.  What we have to be asking ourselves is this: Are we giving the majority of our worship to these substitute gods and bring the leftovers to the One True Lord or are we honestly giving God our very best worship?  My thoughts, as I evaluate the church, are many, if not most, are giving God the leftovers of their worship.  Part of the reason I believe this is because of comments I hear so many people make.  “Worshippers” complain about long services.  “Worshippers” complain about songs sung.  “Worshippers” complain about temperature.  “Worshippers” don’t exalt the Lord!

Questions:
  1. What kind of offering are you bringing to God during worship?
  2. Are you giving your best to this world or to the Father of our salvation?
Prayer: Father, forgive me when I do not bring You true and sincere worship.  I desire to bring You the very best I have.  Give me the courage to focus on You and You alone and may You receive my offering.  Amen.

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