Malachi 1:6-14, “’A son honors his father, And a servant his master.  If then I am the Father, Where is My honor?  And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence?  Says the Lord of hosts To you priests who despise My name.  Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’  ‘You offer defiled food on My altar’, But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’  By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’  And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil?  And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil?  Offer it then to your governor!  Would he be pleased with you?  Would he accept you favorably?’  Says the Lord of hosts.  ‘But now entreat God’s favor, That He may be gracious to us.  While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?’  Says the Lord of hosts.  ‘Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain?  I have no pleasure in you,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘Nor will I accept an offering from your hands.  For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations,’ Says the Lord of hosts.  ‘But you profane it, In that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’’  You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’  And you sneer at it,’ Says the Lord of hosts.  ‘And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering!  Should I accept this from your hand?’  Says the Lord.  ‘But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow,  But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished—For I am a great King,’ Says the Lord of hosts, ‘And My name is to be feared among the nations.'”

Malachi 1:8, “‘And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil?  And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil?  Offer it then to your governor!  Would he be pleased with you?  Would he accept you favorably?’ Says the Lord of hosts.”

Today is the 3rd day of this study.  Today we will look more into sacrifices given to God.  Look into what is acceptable to God.  The examples in the verse are examples of what not to give to God.  They are here to show what not to do.

When a sacrifice was to be offered for sin once a year, the lamb that was to be killed had to be free of spots and no blemishes.  It had to be perfect.  Perfectly white.  Perfectly perfect.  If the lamb had a spot, it could not be accepted.  If it had a problem with its eyes, ears, nose, mouth or any other part, it was not accepted.  It had to be perfect.

God asks the priests a simple question.  He asks if they think it is evil to offer a blind sacrifice.  Blind sheep would not have been a perfect sacrifice.  If a blind sheep would have been offered, the sin would not have been taken by the sheep.  The sheep had to perfect.  No other sheep would be accepted.  Yet, they wanted to offer to God less than the best.  They wanted to offer a defective sacrifice to God.

In the same manner, they were asked by God if a lame or sick sacrifice was evil.  This is the same as a blind sacrifice.  It was not perfect so it would not be accepted.  God wants the very best and anything less is not acceptable.  Perfection is what God wants from us.

Based on these two questions, God offers a challenge.  If they think it is good to offer to God, offer it to the governor.  Now this would have been very difficult for the priests to hear because the governor was in charge and not someone to mess with.  An improper gift may have landed them in prison or even ended in death.  This is interesting that the priests were more scared of a man than the almighty God.

The governor would not be pleased and would not accept these gifts favorably.  The questions asked by God are rhetorical.  He already knew the answers.  A governor would not want a lame, blind, or sick sacrifice.  That is less than the best.  If a tribute was not full, someone could be placed in prison or killed.  It was offensive to not pay what was owed to the governor.

Every day, there are some that do not give the best to God.  Jesus is the perfect sacrifice for the world.  He died once to save us from sin.  He came back to life to save us from death.  He went back to Heaven to save us from Hell.  He went to prepare a place for us.  When we sacrifice our time and money to God, we are not giving anything to God that He does not already have.  The point is that God wants our very best.  Not our somewhat best.  Not our kinda best.  The best.  All that we have.  All of our life.  Not live for the world part of the time and God the other part.  All or nothing.  God or the world.  Let us give God the best we can.  It will not be perfect as we are not perfect, but God knows our hearts.  Make your heart pure and your sacrifice pure today.

Heavenly Father,

Thank You for all that you are.  We are so grateful and thankful that You sent Your Son, the perfect sacrifice, to die on the cross for our sins.  We no longer have to keep sacrificing to pay for our sins.  Jesus paid the full debt we owe.  We owe it to You to give all that we can and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.  This shows that we care about You and we care about You.  You are an awesome God.  You are all that we need.  Let us serve You better and more.

In Your name we pray,

Amen

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