Daily Devotional – Tuesday, July 27, 2021
‘“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.’ (Malachi 1:13, NLT)
God wasn’t happy with the Israelites. He states through the prophet Malachi that He would prefer for someone to shut the doors of the Temple (1:10) then for the people to continue the farce of pretending to worship Him. They wanted God’s help but were not prepared to treat Him as holy. They wanted the benefits of having Him on their side without treating Him with the respect He deserved. Rather than treating God with honour, they were treating Him with contempt.
However, rather than accepting God’s judgement, they challenged Malachi, “How have we shown contempt for God’s name?” God’s response, “Every time you have offered a weak, blind, crippled, diseased or even stolen animal for sacrifice…Try giving gifts like that to the governor and see how pleased he is!... Go ahead, beg [me] to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should [I] show you any favor at all?”
The Israelites were offering sacrifices, but had done so expecting God to be satisfied with the rejects, the ‘leftovers.’ Malachi’s words confirm to us that He is clearly not. In fact, God would have preferred no sacrifices to be made at all, due to the mockery they were making of their worship and of God Himself. Not making sacrifices would have been wrong, but their obvious contempt for God was worse.
Malachi’s words should cause us to pause as well and ask ourselves if we have been treating God with contempt by expecting Him to be satisfied with our ‘leftovers.’ No, we don’t offer rejected animal sacrifices, but I suspect that our offerings sometimes fall into the same category. We give of our finances, but only minimally, not with generosity; we give Him our time, but only if there’s nothing good on television or if it doesn’t interfere with our chance to sleep in; we’ll pray, but only during the last five minutes of our day when our heads hit the pillow, just before we drop off to sleep; we’ll say ‘yes’ to helping another, only because we’d feel guilty refusing; we help out, but only as long as it doesn’t inconvenience us or cost too much or take too much time.
Could it be that God will one day say to us, “I’d rather you just shut your doors than maintain this pretense. If you really want my help, treat me as I deserve…as the Sovereign Lord over the universe.” Nothing else will do.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!