6 A son honors a father,
and a servant honors his master.
But if I’m a father, where is my honor?
Or if I’m a master, where is my respect?
says the Lord of heavenly forces
to you priests who despise my name.
So you say, “How have we despised your name?”
7 By approaching my altar with polluted food.
But you say, “How have we polluted it[b]?”
When you say, “The table of the Lord can be despised.”
8 If you bring a blind animal to sacrifice, isn’t that evil?
If you bring a lame or sick one, isn’t that evil?
Would you bring it to your governor?
Would he be pleased with it or accept you?
says the Lord of heavenly forces. (Malachi 1:6-8, CEB)
The issue with Israel in Malachi was half-hearted worship. It was probably “no-hearted” worship. It was going through the motions.
When I was growing up, my particular church group loved to make fun of more liturgical churches because they repeated “vain words.” There was no heart in their worship.
It’s easy to point the finger the other way. What we need to realize is that is very easy for ANY of us to come with sloppy worship. We come with “polluted food” by our attitudes. We come with “polluted food” by our lack of preparation as we meet the HOLY ONE.
The very things we would not want someone doing if they came to OUR house… we do going into the house of God. We would be appalled with people coming to see us in our home, and then not talking to us. They would talk to everyone else in the house… all the other guests… but not us.
Imagine someone coming to your house (who you invited) and they arrived with fresh flowers… for another guest. Not you. Or, they arrived with wilted flowers.
“Oh, I bought these off a street vendor the other day and had them on my desk. I needed to get rid of them.”
Come to worship. Worship the One who has sought you out. Worship the One who has loved you with an everlasting love. Worship him. Not with your leftovers. Not with last week’s effort. Love him fully. Give him the present of your presence.