The prophet Malachi spoke to Israel about respect. ďWhere is the honor due the Lord as Father, and where is the respect due him as Master?Ē The name used for God here is Adonai-Jehovah, meaning the Lord our Sovereign.
A sovereign is a monarch or supreme ruler. This is someone above all others in character, importance, or excellence. His or her rule is indisputable and must be respected. We all know that not all earthly rulers live up to this ideal. However, Adonai-Jehovah is the ultimate Ruler. He is Creator and Sustainer, all powerful, all knowing God.
The book of Malachi begins:
ďAn oracle: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi.Ē Malachi 1:1
An oracle is a divine communication or revelation. Malachiís mission was to give Israel a divine message, hoping to drive Israel away from sin and back to true worship.
Malachi accused the people of offering poor quality sacrifices to the Lord. As written in the Law of Moses, a sacrifice offered to God was to be perfect, without blemish, the best they had to offer. But the people began keeping the best and sorting out the blind, diseased, and crippled animals for the temple sacrifice. They were probably worried about the loss of prime livestock. There was no sacrifice in their worship. The poor quality offering cost them nothing. It was for show, an expectation, not a response of love. We know God didnít need livestock. He created them. God wanted the hearts of his people. There was no true worship in these hearts, only self-centered greed. Theyíd lost respect for their Sovereign Lord.
Whatís going on in my spiritual life? Does my daily routine take precedence over showing gratitude to my Father? As I rush through life, taking care of business, so I make a brief stop at church? (because itís expected) While in church, is my mind on chores waiting at home. Possibly thinking about the game, or checking the score on the phone. I donít want my worship experience to be a token Ďtip of the hatí to God, squeezed in between activities.
Where is the respect due Him? If Malachi were here today, would he have the same message? Where is the respect due our Sovereign LordóAdonai-Jehovah?
What do I sacrifice in order to worship? Is the Lord sovereign over me? Is He the indisputable authority in my life?
In the time of Malachi, the Jews put on an act to adhere to certain bits of Scripture, but had forgotten the important part. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
When my life is out of control, maybe itís because Iíve forgotten Matthew 6:33. Seek God and his kingdom, and everything else will fall into place.
I will trust you Lord, to organize my day and to meet all my needs. I trust you Lord. My life is in your hands.