“But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised.” – Malachi 1:6b-7
Scripture reading: Ephesians 2:1-22
When the LORD confronted the priests through Malachi, they didn’t get it: “How have we despised Your name?” “How have we polluted You?” They looked at all their activities: they were busy offering sacrifices and leading the people in worship. They were doing everything they were required to do. However, in all their activities they did not have a God-ward focus. They were not offering their sacrifices to please the LORD. They were not focused on magnifying His Name. Their attitude reflected their arrogance and lack of reverence for Him. They were going through the motions of worship, but their hearts were not seeking to exalt and glorify God as He deserves.
There is a story about a missionary who received a shipment of used clothing and other items from some dear older saint. Included in the box was a jar full of used tea bags that the lady had faithfully dried out and sent for the missionary’s use. Used tea bags! Why not send a case of new ones? If you hear about a missionary who needs a new computer, don’t give your old, outdated one. Buy a new one!
If it’s for the LORD, shouldn’t we give our best? Ask yourself these questions: Am I valuing what God values? Do my priorities, the way I spend my time, money and efforts, reflect the things that matter most? Am I seeking to honour Christ above all else in my life? May we seek to magnify the Name of the LORD in all we say and do.
Suggestions for prayer
Ask the LORD to give you a heart that desires to obey Christ rather than to surrender to human passion and sin. Pray that, by grace through faith, you will also live for Christ and grow in sanctification and holiness.
Rev. Michael Jaatinen is the minister of Mount Zion Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moncton, NB.