Thursday, September 6, 2012

Punishment from God

Scripture: Malachi 1:14a-b
"But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord

Insights: Last week we looked at the self-centered gall of the people of Israel.  They were coming to God and offering defiled worship to Him, but then had the audacity to ask Him to bless them and show favor to them.  Today’s verse goes even further to portray the vile attitude of the people of Israel.  At this point in the passage the people are going to God and saying to Him, “God if You will answer my prayers and give me [fill in the blank], then I will give You this fine sacrifice.”  Then God graciously answers the request, but on the day the sacrifice is to be given, the individual brings a blemished animal for his sacrifice.  God takes this kind of treachery very seriously.  He states a person like this is cursed.  The reality of the matter is we ought not make such “bargains” with God.  God is not One with which to be trifled.  It is for this reason James tells us concerning vows to let our yes be yes and our no be no (James 5:12).  We need to be certain we are offering God our best and not some paltry, insignificant offering that brings God no glory and honor.  Last week we also looked at our need to fear or respect the Father.  This individual in today’s verse has no fear of God.  Beloved we need to have proper fear of the holy and righteous God.  Proper praise flows out of the full love, honor and fear of God.  Think about Isaiah for a moment.  Until he saw the Lord his worship had not been full.  It was out of his fear he recognized his sinfulness and from that repentant heart he was restored to the Lord.  In this restored state, and only from this restored state, was Isaiah able to respond to the Lord’s commission to go and preach for Him.  Isaiah could not properly worship until he had his “woe is me” moment.  Worship is a joyful experience, but it is also a fearful experience because we are entering into the presence of the glorious One.  Take your worship seriously.

  1. Do you renege on your offerings to the Lord?
  2. Do you not fear the consequence of broken worship with the Lord?
Prayer: Father, please, I beg, forgive me of the times I say I am going to do something for You and then fail to do it.  Give me the courage and boldness to follow through with the tasks I sense You have assigned me to accomplish.  Let me have proper fear of disrespecting You.  Amen. 

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