Sermons

Summary: Too many of our day seem to think that because they sit through church services that they have participated in worship. However, that isn’t necessarily true. Sadly, many Christians these days are simply going through the motions, without heart involvement

WORTHLESS WORSHIP

Copyright August 2010 by Rev. Donnie L. Martin. All Rights Reserved.

Text: Mal. 1:11-13

I. DISRESPECTFUL SERVICE

A. Israel Doubted And Denied God’s Loving Relationship.

B. Israel Was Showing God No Respect.

C. Israel’s Worship Was Without Reverence.

II. DISQUALIFIED SACRIFICES

A. God Was Offered The People’s Rejects.

B. The Spurious Worship Was Rejected.

III. DISDAINFUL ATTITUDES

A. This Sham Worship Did Not Meet God’s Demands.

B. The Sham Worship Was Seen Only As A Duty.

C. The Sinful Worshippers Were Only Deceivers.

Intro: Have you ever noticed how a child, who becomes tired of a particular toy, begins to neglect it for something new, shinny and exciting? That same plaything, that once gave them hours of joy and gratification, ends up discarded in some dark corner of their room, scarcely gathering a glance, but surely gathering dust.

We adults are hardly any different. Our toys may be bigger and more expensive, but as with children, when the new wears off, and the excitement factor diminishes, we tend to ignore those items that once held our attention firmly in its grip. For all practical purposes, those items become virtually worthless to us.

The tendency to devaluate things that, for us, have lost their sparkle and interest, is inherently human. One could even say that this trait is even inevitable with material things. The plain truth of the matter is that we humans tend to tire of things that become commonplace, and thus, we cease to value them as we once did.

But man’s penchant for losing interest is unfortunately not restricted to material things alone. This often carries over into the spiritual realm of life as well. Oh, we know it shouldn’t be this way; but we sometimes begin to view the things of the Lord, worship in particular, as unworthy of our full attention, devotion, and valued priority. And we may be rest assured that when worship becomes worthless and unimportant to us, it will of necessity be viewed as such by God.

“Why is that so?” you may ask. It is because real worship costs us something. Worship requires us to put aside ourselves and focus our time, energy, and all that we are, on God, Who alone is worthy of worship. King David once made an especially pertinent statement concerning worship. He said, “…I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing…” (2 Sam. 24:24—NLT). So if worshipping God holds little or not value for you today, God will see it for what it really is: “Worthless Worship.”

In the days of Malachi the prophet, God charged Israel, in general, and their priests in particular, with practicing worthless worship. What a sad state of affairs for a people for whom God had done so much. But then, that could be said about all mankind. We have all been blessed of God in countless ways, and all without merit on our part.

As we look into Malachi chapter one, we will examine some characteristics that should reveal to us where we stand with reference to worship. Let the Holy Spirit search your heart this morning.

Theme: Worthless worship is characterized by…

I. DISRESPECTFUL SERVICE

A. Israel Doubted And Denied God’s Loving Relationship.

Mal. 1:2 “I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob,

3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”

NOTE: [1] It’s hard to understand how Israel could ever have questioned God’s love for them. But this they did in spite of all the miraculous acts of God to show His preference for them above all the tribes of the earth, to provide for them, and to protect them, throughout their journey from Egypt to Canaan. Not only that, but He continued to bless them with homes that they had not built (Jos. 24:13), and “…a land that floweth with milk and honey” (Deut. 26:15—KJV). As long as they obeyed the Lord, the Lord blessed everything they did. Isn’t it strange that the lost world still doubts God’s love in light of the fact that He sent His own Son to die on Calvary to pay their sin debt, so they could spend eternity with Him.

[2] In verse three, the words “I hated Esau” do not rightly express the meaning found in the original language. The idea of these words is that God rejected Esau, for in His foreknowledge, He knew that Esau would reject the rule of God in his life, and thus God’s plan of redemption could not be fulfilled through his lineage. The New Living Translation renders this portion of scripture as follows: “…I loved your ancestor Jacob, but I rejected his brother, Esau…” (Mal. 1: 2b-3a—NLT).

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