The book of Malachi contains the final words of God to his people prior to the initiation of the New Covenant. It was a time of lukewarm spirituality and flagrant disregard for God by His people. But as much as we would like for God to be quiet and leave us alone in our backslidings, He is faithful to give warning.
The priesthood, for the most part, had become corrupted by a casual attitude towards the sacrifices God had established for His people. He had specifically outlined through Moses what was acceptable and what was not. In the book of Malachi, God contends with these priests over their failure to adequately perform their ministry.
One has to wonder how this deterioration had happened to the priesthood. How did they lose sight of the importance of their ministry?
Were they clueless? Had they neglected the Scriptures to the point that they had no understanding of what God required?
Were they careless? Had the priestly ministry become just a job for them, with no real understanding of the significance of what they were doing?
Were they calloused? Did they just not care about the things of God at all?
The Lord says to the priests, not the people in general, but the priests, “where is my honor?” And then He gives them this command – Honor My Name. He doesn’t ask. He doesn’t beg. He commands.
He confronts their offering of blemished sacrifices, the weak and feeble of the flock. And He confronts this in us as well. Something is terribly wrong when we can offer God the leftovers of our life and be satisfied with that. Worse yet, when we think God is satisfied with that. We throw the leftover crumbs of our life to God and expect that He will be happy with whatever we give Him, like a pet, hoping for some scraps from the table.
Rather than our half-hearted offerings to Him, he prefers nothing.
“Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain!” Malachi 1:10
We trifle with a God who is a great King. Do we think He does not see? Do we think He does not know the very thoughts and intentions of our hearts when we give ourselves to other things and satisfy our conscience with the meager morsels of our lives that we throw to God?
May God make us aware of every way in which we have offered Him something less than our best and may we begin to take seriously the command to honor His name.