Are You Just Going Trough the Motions’
Malaci 1 June 3 2012
The ingratitude of Israel. (Malachi 1:1-5)
Malachi 1:1The burden of the word of the Lord to Israel by Malachi. 2 “I have loved you,” says the Lord. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? ”Says the Lord. “Yet Jacob I have loved;3But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.”4 Even though Edom has said, “We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places,” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the Lord will have indignation forever. 5 Your eyes shall see, And you shall say, ‘The Lord is magnified beyond the border of Israel.’
All advantages, either as to outward circumstances, or spiritual privileges, come from the free love of God, who makes one to differ from another. All the evils sinners feel and fear, are the just recompence of their crimes, while all their hopes and comforts are from the unmerited mercy of the Lord. He chose his people that they might be holy. If we love him, it is because he has first loved us; yet we all are prone to undervalue the mercies of God, and to excuse our own offences.
They are careless in God’s institutions. (Malachi 1:6-14)
Malachi 1:6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts .To you priests who despise My name. Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’7 “You offer defiled food on My altar, But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil. And when you offer the lame and sick,Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?”Says the Lord of hosts.9 “But now entreat God’s favor, That He may be gracious to us.While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts.10 “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,” Says the Lord of hosts, “Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations, ”Says the Lord of hosts.12 “But you profane it,In that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’13 You also say, ‘Oh , what a weariness! ’And you sneer at it,”Says the Lord of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?”Says the Lord. 14“But cursed be the deceiver .Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished—For I am a great King, ”Says the Lord of hosts “And My name is to be feared among the nations.
We may each charge upon ourselves what is here charged upon the priests. Our relation to God, as our Father and Master, strongly obliges us to fear and honour him. But they were so scornful that they derided reproof. Sinners ruin themselves by trying to baffle their convictions. Those who live in careless neglect of holy ordinances, who attend on them without reverence, and go from them under no concern, in effect say, The table of the Lord is contemptible. They despised God’s name in what they did. It is evident that these understood not the meaning of the sacrifices, as shadowing forth the unblemished Lamb of God; they grudged the expense, thinking all thrown away which did not turn to their profit. If we worship God ignorantly, and without understanding, we bring the blind for sacrifice; if we do it carelessly, if we are cold, dull, and dead in it, we bring the sick; if we rest in the bodily exercise, and do not make heart-work of it, we bring the lame; and if we suffer vain thoughts and distractions to lodge within us, we bring the torn. And is not this evil? Is it not a great affront to God, and a great wrong and injury to our own souls? In order to the acceptance of our actions with God, it is not enough to do that which, for the matter of it, is good; but we must do it from a right principle, in a right manner, and for a right end. Our constant mercies from God, make worse our slothfulness and niggardliness, in our returns of duty to God. A spiritual worship shall be established. Incense shall be offered to God’s name, which signifies prayer and praise. And it shall be a pure offering. When the hour came, in which the true worshippers worshipped the Father in Spirit and in truth, then this incense was offered, even this pure offering. We may rely on God’s mercy for pardon as to the past, but not for indulgence to sin in future. If there be a willing mind, it will be accepted, though defective; but if any be a deceiver, devoting his best to Satan and to his lusts, he is under a curse. Men now, though in a different way, profane the name of the Lord, pollute his table, and show contempt for his worship.