Summary: God desires for his people to express their adoration and devotion to him in the appropriate and fitting ways that he has prescribed.
• A loss of hope can do bad things to one’s focus and outlook on life. Last week as we began our look at the book of Malachi, Israel was at a point in history where they had come back from Babylonian captivity almost 100 years earlier.
• The nation anxiously waited for God to restore them to the former glory the possed before Babylon.
• As the Temple was rebuilt about 15 years after their return, they waited. Twenty years after the restoration of the Temple, they waited.
• Now they are some 80 years after the rebuild of the Temple, and boy, have things changed.
• The nation has descended from the joy and hope of returning to their homeland, to listless, lazy, and indifferent.
• The people of God are barely obeying God’s commands and are bringing a half-hearted effort to their worship of the God of the universe.
• What makes matters worse, the people are complaining that the act of worshipping God has become wearisome to them.
• They have ceased to enjoy and delight in the worship of God.
• What was designed by God to bring deep satisfaction and health to the nation has been reduced to religious platitudes and mechanical obedience, devoid of heart.
• The people have become self-centered, seeking self-gratification rather than pursuing the worship of God.
• When one loses their heart for God, it infects all they do.
• Last week we heard Malachi try to encourage the people to rekindle a fresh love for the Lord.
• Today, we see how the lack of love and heart manifest itself in the life of the people.
• Today we will focus our attention on the concept of possessing a sense of Fresh Worship.
• As was the case at many points in the history of the Nation of Israel, worship became something God never intended for it to be, void, burdensome, and empty.
• Worship was getting to a place where even God said enough.
• Worship is something that should bring joy, excitement, and expectation to those who are worshipping the Lord.
• The reason for this is by our worship, we are acknowledging to ourselves, the word, and God, that we know we are a part of something larger than ourselves, that we are a part of a bigger purpose for life.
• Yes, worship is about God, but it also is for each one of us to be blessed.
• In the passage, we will experience a great deal of negativity; however, I want us to see the negative so that we can learn from it.
• My prayer is that we can avoid the pitfalls pertaining to worship that can happen so easily if we are not careful.
• Let’s begin by turning to Malachi 1:6-7
Malachi 1:6-7 (CSB)
6“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is your fear of me? says the Lord of Armies to you priests, who despise my name.” Yet you ask: “How have we despised your name?”
7“By presenting defiled food on my altar.” “How have we defiled you?” you ask. When you say: “The Lord ’s table is contemptible.”
Fresh worship requires one to have a…
I. Refreshed respect.
• Just like in the first five verses we looked at last week, God starts with an assertion; then He anticipates the objects of the people, then He answers the objection.
• God asks the question of the people concerning the issue of respect. He asks the question:
• Malachi 1:6 (CSB) — “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. But if I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is your fear of me? says the Lord of Armies to you priests, who despise my name.” Yet you ask: “How have we despised your name?”
• The people lost respect for God. God is specifically speaking to those who should have known better, the Priests.
• The priests were not showing God honor or respect.
• The word HONOR deals with acknowledging one’s WEIGHT, one’s importance, authority or position.
• The priests want evidence of what God is accusing them of doing.
• The predictable response from the people is, “How have we despised your name?”
• In verse 7, they want to know how they are defiling God.
• God gives them an answer.
• They were despising His name by presenting defiled food on the altar.
• Here “food” refers to the animal offerings (Lev 21:8, 21).
• The implicit allegation suggests that the animals had not been properly selected nor properly prepared as stipulated (Lev 22:17–25 and Deut 15:21), a sense represented by the NET’s rendering, “you are offering improper sacrifices on my altar.”