Summary: God accused the Israelite priests of sinning in two ways... treating the sacrifice with contempt and teaching the people to do the same. We, as a Priesthood of Believers, have the same job as the priests and perhaps are guilty of the same failures.
Every year Americans leave in their wake
20 million tons of paper
26 billion bottles
and 3 million gallons of water
In our scripture for today, the prophet, Malachi was also talking about pollution because the effects of pollution had hit home .... Israel, the chosen people.
But it was not air pollution, water pollution, noise pollution, or ground pollution ..... It was SPIRITUAL POLLUTION.
In fact the prophet was aiming his attack at the top, the leaders, THE PRIESTS and he was saying that the pollution went from top to bottom.
In fact, he would be a man after Ronald Reagan's own heart because he was talking about "the trickle-down theory."
The pollution had started at the top ... THE PRIESTS, and had trickled down to the laity, the common man ... the average Joe in the street.
God leveled a severe and scathing reproof of the priests in verse 6 saying ''It is YOU, oh priests. who show contempt for my name. "
He was saying that they had profaned the things which He, God, had trusted into their hands, into their care .... THE SACRIFICIAL SYSTEM!!!!
It was the crime of the Priests ... BUT. ... it had become the shame of the people ... they had been infected with it.
The priest had a two-fold responsibility ...
1] to represent God to the people
2] to represent the people to God
They had failed in both but especially in the former.
As Christians, a members of God's family, we too have those same responsibilities
represent God to men teaching
represent men to God prayer
The question that you have to ask yourself today, as we investigate God's claim against the Jewish priests is .... ARE YOU JUST AS GUILTY OF THE SAME SINS??????
God's charge against them was that they were guilty of offering polluted sacrifices.
AND GOD TAKES THAT STUFF VERY SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!!
He started off by saying ...
It goes without saying that a child should honor his father
you don't doubt it for a minute
in fact, there is a commandment... Ex 20:9
the punishment is death Matthew 15:4
society depends on it
It goes without saying that a slave should honor his master
everyone knows that
There is a command
Punishment was death
society depends on it
And then God's point is SURELY!!!!!!!!!!!!
If a son is expected to honor his father...
A MAN IS EXPECTED TO HONOR HIS GOD!!!!!!!!!'!'!!!!!!!
If a master can expect his slave to honor him.......
SHOULD NOT GOD EXPECT HONOR FROM HIS SERVANTS?
No answer was required or needed ... it was open and shut. .. common sense.
And if God should expect his people to honor and obey Him... does it not make sense that He could, to a greater degree, expect honor and obedience from his priests????????
SHOW ME THE HONOR
SHOW ME THE RESPECT
I DON'T SEE ANY
IN FACT....... what I see is CONTEMPT FOR ME... FOR MY NAME..
FOR EVERYTHING ABOUT ME!
Now don't miss this to have contempt for someone means to loathe, to despise, to abhor, to hate, to treat with repugnance, to have an aversion for them.
God pointed his finger straight in the face of the priests and said ... YOU HATE ME!!!!
YOU TREAT ME LIKE SOMETHING VILE THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO TOUCH.
They were flabbergasted, floored, astonished, bewildered.
They got that silly "Who-Me?" look on their faces, pointed at themselves, looked at someone to their side and said ... "Contempt... for God ..... ME??????
God saw straight through their show, their acting, their pretense and said,
"Cut the surprise garbage." "You know exactly what I'm talking about I When you say that the sacrifice is contemptible, a burden. "
And again they took that stupid "Who? ME?" pose.
Listen, this sermon is not about a handful of unfaithful old Jewish guys.... it is about you!!!!!!!!!!!
I want you to know that God is pointing his finger straight in YOUR face today and saying to you ... YOU HATE ME ... DESPISE ME ... LOATHE ME ... ABHOR ME!
And most of you are sitting there looking left and right and wondering which one of those "sinners" I am talking to.
TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TO EVERY ONE OF YOU!
God invented the sacrificial system
God laid down very specific rules about sacrifices in Lev. 22: 17-24
without defect, without blemish, without deformity
DO NOT BRING ANYTHING WITH A DEFECT BECAUSE IT WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED ON YOUR BEHALF ... v20
There were always those who tried to get by with shoddy sacrifices .....
offering sick animals that would die anyway
injured animals that could not reproduce
lame animals that were useless
They were offering things that did not call for sacrifice ... WERE NOT A SACRIFICE!!!!