"The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness." Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the LORD of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever." Your eyes will see this and you will say, "The LORD be magnified beyond the border of Israel!"
Sin of the Priests
"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, "How have we despised Your name?'
"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.
"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.
"Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD of hosts, "nor will I accept an offering from you.
"For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations," says the LORD of hosts.
"But you are profaning it, in that you say, "The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.'
"You also say, "My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it," says the LORD of hosts, "and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?" says the LORD.
"But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King," says the LORD of hosts, "and My name is feared among the nations."
God gives nothing but the best. He didn't allow some second rate sacrifice to die on the Cross for the cleansing of our sins. He sent the Lamb without blemish or spot. Do we give back to Him an offering without blemish or spot? Or do we give back only what we think we can get away with?
I'm not talking money here. It has nothing to do with that. I'm talking about ourselves. Are we giving Him ALL of us or only what we think He should have? Is what we DO give Him the best we have? Are we thinking we can get away with offering Him second rate goods, hearts which are not completely seeking Him in all things, and still receive the first rate blessings?
You see, God knows us inside and out. He sees it all. There is no blindness in Him, especially to our sin. He's got quite a keen sense of awareness to disobedience. We may think we can just ignore His call on our lives, but He sees it. He is grieved over it and our blessings are marked accordingly.
What is it He's calling for in your life that you've thought you could get around? Ask Him to search your heart and show you where He's working and you're getting in the way. Psalm 139:23-24 says, "Search me, O Lord, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any hurtful way in me and lead me in the way everlasting."
Don't try to do the self exam. You're bound to find a ton of stuff, but it might not be what the Lord wants you to focus on right now. Let Him shine the light into the corners of your heart and reveal that which is keeping you from the full measure of His blessing.
Wait till you see what He can do with a perfect offering.
A. M. Wilson