Summary: Let me ask you a question: How much is your God worth? Is He worth your first, your best, or only your castoffs? If you are giving Him only your castoffs, then you do in fact despise Him.

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TEXT: Malachi 1:6-9


The Judeans had gotten to the point of despising the lord. The word “despise” has a different connotation in Hebrew than in English. For the Hebrew it means simply “to consider something or someone worthless.” They are not worth the time to think about.

Let me ask you a question: How much is your God worth? Is He worth your first, your best, or only your castoffs? If you are giving Him only your castoffs, then you do in fact despise Him.

God had asked for a perfect yearling ram or kid in the various offerings. But they were giving blind crippled, or sick animals. Why? Because they valued the perfect ones too much to give them to God. They had better uses for them.

That’s what we are doing as well. We are giving our second best when it comes to our time, money, and service. We give little time to God and believe that we can spend the bulk of our time doing other things more profitable {what could be more profitable than spending time with God, or more important}.

When an offering is being taken up, sometimes we will pull out of our pockets a $1, $5, $10 or $20 bill. Guess which goes into the offering plate, George Washington, we think we can use the other bills for something better than helping the kingdom of God. What about our service, some don’t do enough to talk about, very few are super busy in service for the Lord but we feel our service can better be used for community things instead of for God. We are not giving God our best.

All of the time they were doing this they were deceiving themselves. Many years before God had designated certain animals as clean & others as unclean. Only clean animals could be offered. Pigs, dogs, and camels were among the unclean while sheep, goats, and cattle were clean. A sacrifice was also supposed to be unblemished. The Jews deceived themselves by saying that cleanness was what really mattered and that if the animal was clean, a few blemishes didn’t really matter. They could of said, “but at least it is an offering,” that’s true but it wasn’t what God required.

The quality of the sacrifice says something about the heart of the offerer. A heart which would try to palm off a cheap blemished offering to the Almighty, the Holy One, is an unclean heart.

We do this when we expect God to be delighted over tarnished trinkets and snippets of time which would leave any earthly ruler outraged. Why are we so careful to please our earthly overlords and yet so careless in what our lives say about the value of the Eternal God?

We give better offerings to other things; we sacrifice more and better things for the world than we do God. Some people leave better tips at a restaurant than the offering they leave at church.

Would our earthly bosses still be satisfied with us if we worked for them like we do for the church? Would we still have a job if we were committed to our job like we are to the church? Think about it, who or what is getting our best? Is God getting our best? Or do other things and other people get our best? Do other things or other people get better sacrifices than God gets? Do we value God or think highly enough of God to give Him our absolute best?

Our relationship to God can be looked at in two ways: children to father and servants to master. We will not correctly value God until these two understandings are worked out in our lives as well as in our words.

We must love Him as Father and then fear Him as Master. Both of these must be operative for the proper relationship to exist.

We say we love Him and do little and we say we don’t love our work and do more for our human employee. We say we work hard because of the fear of being fired, yet we don’t seem to have a fear of loosing souls, even our own.

If we do not truly love Him, we will do the absolute minimum to get by. A lot of people fit into this category, doing the very minimum to get by with.

If we do not fear Him, we will be tempted to use Him for our own ends. We have lost the “fear of the Lord.” Because of that we live recklessly and haphazardly.

So the first thing we must do is love God as a Father. The highest motivation of all is love. For those we love we will do anything. Jesus said, “If you LOVE me you will keep my commandments” (John 14:15). There is not anything I wouldn’t do for my wife or children, why, because I love them. I do things for them that I don’t normally do for other people. Sometimes I do things for them that are hard and difficult and almost impossible to do, but I do it because I love them; I do things for them that are very costly at times, why, because I love them.

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