Offering God Your Best Mal 1 6-10 01-07-07 am
"OFFERING GOD LESS THAN YOUR BEST"
IMBC Hobart; 01-07-07 am
- We as 21th century Christians need to be very careful that our worship to God is always acceptable and that their is nothing in our lives that will hinder our relationship to God.
- But often we are our own worst enemies, because we at times can be so independent that we would just as soon do it our own way than God’s
- Read article "Trying To Do the Job Alone"
- Any person that offers God anything less than His best is hindering his potential in the hands of a mighty God.
- In the first five (5) verses of the book of Malachi
Israel is challenged to openly respond to God's love
- Earlier, God had challenged Israel to love the Lord wholeheartedly; listen to two verses in the book of Deuteronomy:
1. Deut. 6:2, “So that you and your son and your grandson
might fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statues and His
commandments which I command you, all the days of your
life, and that your days may be prolonged.”
2. Deut. 6:5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all
your heart and with all your soul and with all your might."
- The seriousness of Israel's sin and the fact that they had strayed from God is very evident in these passages before us this morning in the book of Malachi.
- There is probably no one in this auditorium this
morning who wants to intentionally displease God with their lives
- But there may be things in your life that are
displeasing to God that you need to take care of this morning on this first Sunday of a brand new year!
- And there is no better time than the present to take care of those things that offend a holy God!
I. THE CHARGE OF DISRESPECT – Malachi
A. Disrespect for God – vs. 6
1. Malachi was speaking very bluntly and using a common illustration to get his point across to the Jewish disobedient believers.
a. These were common everyday
relationships (father/son, servant/master) that
all Israel expected to be honored, as we do
b. God felt He should receive honor as their
God just like they normally would for others
c. It was clear to God, but not so clear to
the Israelites that God was like a father
to Israel, and it was an analogy that was
used by God many times in Scripture.
1). Exodus 4:22 "And thou shalt say to Pharaoh,
Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my first-
2). Isaiah 63:16 "Doubtless thou art our father,
though Abraham be ignorant of us, O Lord, art our
father, our redeemer; thy name is from ever lasting."
3). Isaiah 64:8 "But now, O Lord, thou art our
father; we are the clay, and thou our potter, and we
all are the work of thy hand."
4). Hosea 11:1 "When Israel was a child then I
loved him, and called my son out of Egypt."
d. In fact the fifth commandment (of the 10 com-
mandments) states that the children are to
honor their parents (Ex. 20:12; Deut
5:16) and listen to this kids, if the children
did not obey their parents and they were
found guilty of rebelling against parental
discipline, the parents were encouraged in
the Law to take the rebellious child and the
elders of the city would stone them to
death (Deut. 21:18-21) for their
2. Therefore should the nation which considered
itself a "son" of the Lord be any less obedient
a. The next phrase in the verse presents that
very question; "if then, I be a father where is mine
1). The Hebrew word for "honor" also in
Other verses is translated "glory";
"Where is my GLORY?".
aa. The glory of God is spoken of fre-
quently throughout the Scriptures,
and God is even called the "king of
Glory" in Psalms 24:7-10,
bb. And the fact that glory and honor are
due Him is beyond dispute!
2). And even some of the Israeli people
considered God their master; and
certainly scripture presents Israel as the
Lord's servant Isa. 44:1-2; thus the
Lord's second question is ominous; "And
if I be a master, where is my fear (respect)?"
aa. Their is no contradiction between the
admonition to love God (implied in the
first few verses of this book) and now
the exhortation to fear Him.
bb. The fear of God does not mean being
terrified of Him; it means a proper
respect and reverence for Him, a
reverence that leads to worship and
a life of obedience.
3. Then, the Lord gets a little more pointed with
His accusation and blames those who are
undoubtedly responsible for the religious
atmosphere at this time in Israel's history.
a. "O priests, who despise my name." makes it so
clear that God was holding them
responsible for the condition of the hearts
of his worshipers, "O priests, who despise my
b. The Hebrew word translated priests’ means
just that—“a priest or representative of the people to
God;” and the particular construction of the
grammar in this sentence gives the
indication that they were in the habit of
continually despising the Lord's name.
c. This undoubtedly is one of the saddest
charges possible, because after the return
of Israel from exile, the priests were
responsible to teach the people God's
covenant and turn their hearts to God and
how could they do that if they were the
ones' who are away from God?
d. If the priests failed to honor God, what
could be expected of the rest of the
1). That is quite frankly why their is so
Much confusion in our world today
2). The spiritual leaders are saying and
Doing anything that they want; no
Wonder people are confused and leery
of preachers--(The challenge is that they
PREACH and TEACH and LIVE the truth; just as
they expect of the congregation to which they are
e. And vs.6 closes with a question that the
priests where thinking, “In what way have we
despised your name?” God knew their hearts
and new what they were thinking.
B. The Motivation behind the Disrespect for God.
1. They offered defiled food - vs. 7
a. Instead of honoring God, they were guilty
of offering "polluted bread" and this reminder
by God should have been enough to cause
the priests to repent of their sin.
b. The structure of the grammar again gives
the idea that this was not a one time action
but a habitual and continual pattern.
c. They had been given specific instructions
on what constituted a defective
sacrifice in the book of Leviticus 22:17-
30 (read the verses)
d. It was the official function of the priests
to "offer" the sacrifices taken from and on
behalf of the people and to put them on
the altar before God.
e. The people and the priests new better and
had been warned in scripture not to do so
but they were allowing and encouraging
the people to profane and defile God's
name by taking the defiled offerings to
God; they were guilty of offering God less
than their best; are you guilty of the
f. The problem with the food was that it was
"polluted" or defiled.
1). The Hebrew word for "polluted" does not
mean unworthy, but is used in the sense
of "contaminated," "unfit," "to be
rejected as unqualified."
2). You are guilty of the same if your are
here this morning and unsaved and
trying to approach God by your own
prescribed methods rather than coming
to God in His prescribed way so plainly
spelled out in the Word of God.
3). Or your worship in unacceptable and
polluted if you are a Christian and you
refuse to repent of known sin in your
g. The main aspect of God's message through
the prophet Malachi was that because of
their disobedience, they and their worship
was not acceptable to God and thus their
attempts to appease God with sacrifices
meeting only their own qualifications rather
than God's, and their worship was
inappropriate and unacceptable before a
holy and righteous God.
2. The offering of defiled sacrifices - vs. 8
a. They were guilty of offering to the Lord, in
spite of the direction that was given in
scripture, animals that were blind, lame
b. And again according to Deut. 22:18-25 &
Deut. 15:21, this was wrong and sin.
c. Would you offer anything less than your
best to a governmental official coming to
visit your home?
1). To further illustrate the seriousness of
the offense, an illustration is used that
they would have no trouble under-
2). Would you "Offer it now unto thy governor; will
he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person?"
aa. The governor's table was
usually lavishly prepared and was an
exquisite banquet as we recall from
the book of Nehemiah in Neh. 5:17.
bb. And many times it was customary to
include in the banquet special gifts
that were offered by the people to
the governmental official.
3. A Lack of Purity - vs. 9
a. To further emphasize his point God through
Malachi said that the whole temple service
might as well be shut down because of their
lack of purity.
b. They were not acceptable and thus their of-
fering was not acceptable and defiled.
II. THE CONFUSION OF THEIR ATTEMPTED
WORSHIP – Malachi 6:10
A. Their Worship was Rejected by God
1. Because they had sought to give God less
Than their best, God said that He would
reject there attempts to worship Him because
of their unacceptable offerings.
2. Not to mention their defiled lives.
B. It Would Be Just as Wrong for A Christian to
Offer God anything Less than His Best.
1. Now I realize that you and I live in the
dispensation of Grace and that we no longer
offer sacrifices like the O.T. believers.
2. Nonetheless, we must be careful to give God
Our first fruits and not that which is left over.
a. How about your Time – Ephesians 5:16
"Redeeming the time, because the days are evil."
b. Your Talents - 1 Peter 4:10 "As every man
hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to
another, as good stewards of the manifold grace
c. Your Treasure, because all that you have
belongs to God 1 Cor. 4:7 "...and what hast
thou that thou didst not receive?"
d. Your Testimony - John 3:16 - being a
witness for Jesus Christ!