“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the LORD Almighty. “It you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?” Malachi 1:6 NIV
When you say, ‘The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority,’ that’s defiling. Malachi 1:7 The Message
And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. Malachi 3:18 NIV
Israel angered God with their disrespect, sacrifices of blemished animals, intermarriage with pagans and withholding of tithes and offerings. God was in their lives, but he was clearly not a priority. The people needed reminding, warning, and encouragement. God would provide for their salvation. The way was being prepared for One who would be God’s reflection shining in his chosen faithful. God would be exalted once more and relationship with his people would be restored.
Though I may deny it, God is not always a priority in my life. When my family and friends get my best, God often gets my leftovers – the last fruits of my time, talents and treasure. My bible time and devotions slide further down the to-do list, where I have little energy to spare. God gets the dregs of my attention. How am I any different than Israel? God does not deserve sloppy seconds. Instead of becoming an idol and building a fan base, I should desire to be God’s biggest fan and to idolize Him alone.
Lord, I don’t want to keep defiling what should be sacred. Redirect my gaze away from myself and toward you. Forgive me. Restore me. May I appreciative how Jesus paid my sin debt forever. Only in Jesus I believe and pray. Amen