The book of Malachi starts out:
"An oracle: The word of the Lord to Israel through Malachi." Malachi 1:1
An oracle is a divine communication or revelation. Malachi (whose name means my messenger) was an Old Testament prophet with a mission to give Israel a divine message to turn away from sin and turn back toward their Holy Lord.
As it had many times before, Israel had fallen away from the proper worship of the Lord both in form and in their hearts. Malachi tells of the people offering sacrifices of poor quality. It was written in the Law of Moses that sacrifices to God were to be perfect, without blemish, the best that they had to offer. But, the people were keeping the best for themselves and taking blind and diseased or crippled animals to the temple. They were offering only token sacrifices - sacrifices that didn't cost them personally. These were for show, because they were expected, not because they were grateful to and loved their Lord. They were not truly worshipping their Creator. They were showing a profound lack of respect for their Sovereign Lord.
We do that too. We rush through life, taking care of our own business. We make a brief stop at church because we know we should - it is expected. All the while we are planning our week or worrying about what we have to do at home or possibly the game we are missing - if indeed we have missed it and not skipped church in order to go. We give a token tip of the hat to God, squeezed in between activities that are really important to us. Our sacrifice of worship costs us very little or nothing at all.
Where is the respect due Him? He is our loving Father, our Creator God, our Sovereign Lord. He is Adonai-Jehovah. A sovereign is a monarch or other supreme ruler. It is someone who is above all others in character, importance, or excellence. It is someone who is indisputable.
What do I sacrifice in order to worship the Lord? Is the Lord sovereign in my life? Is He the indisputable authority in my life?
In the time of Malachi, the Jews had forgotten the important parts of Scripture. That may be our sin, too.
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