READ: Malachi 1-2

BACKGROUND: The name Malachi means “messenger” and the message that Malachi delivered would be the final prophetic utterance that God delivered to the nation at large for 400 years until John the Baptist declared, “Behold, the Lamb of God.” The book was written about 100 years after the return from exile and already the people had sunk to lows that were even worse than before they’d been conquered. The book is structured as a kind of question-answer format indictment of Israel’s incredible unfaithfulness toward God but God’s incredible love and promise for Israel.

THINK: “I have no pleasure in you.” This was the Lord’s stinging rebuke to His people through the prophet Malachi (1:10). God was angry with their careless, shoddy methods of worship. The animals they brought for sacrifice were not acceptable to Him because they were not the best of the herds and flocks. Instead, they offered stolen, lame, and sick animals (v.13).

While we may not be showing this degree of contempt toward God, sometimes we are too casual in our worship. A friend of mine made this observation about herself: “When I shop for simple things like soap or butter, I hardly think about it. But when I’m looking for a blouse to match a skirt, I shop very carefully. I go from store to store until I find exactly what I’m looking for.” Then she added thoughtfully, “I should pay that same attention when I am worshiping God. But sometimes I approach Him as casually as if I were shopping for a box of Kleenex.”

During worship services in our churches, we may fail to give God our full attention. We rush in late. Our thoughts wander. We need to discipline our minds so that we are not focusing on yesterday’s cares or tomorrow’s responsibilities. When we worship the Lord with all our heart, He will be pleased with us.

Our very best we offer to You,
Gracious God, Almighty King;
As we come to You in worship,
Let our lives Your praises sing. —Sper

 

­– David C. Enger in Our Daily Bread

 

PRAY: Spend some time examining your heart today and confessing the ways in which you have given your very best to yourself and the world and brought your leftovers to God – the ways in which you have approached him thoughtlessly and callously. Ask him to help you worship with your whole heart because he is worthy!

 

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