Contemptible Offering

The LORD Almighty says to the priests, “Children honor their parents, and servants honor their masters. I am your father—why don’t you honor me? I am your master—why don’t you respect me? You despise me, and yet you ask, ‘How have we despised you?’ This is how—by offering worthless food on my altar. Then you ask, ‘How have we failed to respect you?’ I will tell you—by showing contempt for my altar. (Malachi 1:6-7 Good News Bible)

Wow! That’s’ strong language that God used towards the priests. Needless to say God was not happy with them. They were giving Him the lame, blind and sick animals as offerings. They were giving Him animals that they didn’t want and were worthless (verse 8). By doing this they were saying that God’s altar was worthless! And this was contemptible to God. He wanted one of the priests to close the doors to the Temple so that no one would go in to light “useless” fires on His altar. He refused to accept their sacrifices. What a sad testimony.

Today we are seeing the same thing in Christian churches around the country. No, we don’t offer animal sacrifices anymore, but what we offer is still “useless” fire on His altar. If we do not give our best then He will not accept what we offer. That was the problem in Malachi’s day and it’s still the problem today. In fact, this has been the problem since the very beginning. Cain didn’t offer his best to God and God wouldn’t accept second, third or less from him. Nor will He accept that from us. God has not changed, nor will He ever change. One of the few times that Jesus talked about money, He talked about the poor widow who gave only a small “mite” or penny in the offering. Jesus said that she gave more than all of the rich people putting in their large sums. Why? The widow gave all that she had while the rich people were giving their leftovers or extra.

Don’t give Jesus your leftovers. He won’t accept that, ever. I love the song Howard Grose wrote in 1901, Give of Your Best to The Master.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth;
Throw your soul’s fresh, glowing ardor
Into the battle for truth.
Jesus has set the example,
Dauntless was He, young and brave;
Give Him your loyal devotion;
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give of the strength of your youth;
Clad in salvation’s full armor,
Join in the battle for truth.

Give of your best to the Master;
Give Him first place in your heart;
Give Him first place in your service;
Consecrate every part.
Give, and to you will be given;
God His beloved Son gave;
Gratefully seeking to serve Him,
Give Him the best that you have.

Give of your best to the Master;
Naught else is worthy His love;
He gave Himself for your ransom,
Gave up His glory above.
Laid down His life without murmur,
You from sin’s ruin to save;
Give Him your heart’s adoration;
Give Him the best that you have.

(Give Of Your Best To The Master, words by Howard B. Grose, 1901, public domain)

© 2019 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.

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