Give GOD your BEST because He gave you His ‘VERY’ BEST! “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. “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. (Mal. 1:7-8, 13)
In His final Old Testament utterance through the prophet Malachi, God is making some startling accusations that He has observed in the priests of Israel. In particular, they had refused to show Him the honor that was due to a father or, the respect that was due to a master. When the priests retorted with this question, “In what way have we despised Your name?” (v. 6), God’s answer revealed their actions (“You offer defiled food on My altar”) and their attitude (“The table of the Lord is contemptible”). They were offering blind, lame, sick, and stolen animals as sacrifices to God—even though they would never think of giving such worthless offerings to their governor. They were treating their Almighty God in a way that they would not dare to treat a mere human leader!
The demands of holy worship of God had been made clear in the Law. Only the very best should be presented as an offering to the Lord (see Lev. 1:3); no one was to come with an offering that was blemished or unclean (Lev. 1:10; 7:19–21; 22:17-25; Deut. 15:21; 17:1). Thus, the open contempt of the sacrificial requirements of unblemished offerings was a disgrace to Jehovah God. The bread (see Exo. 25:23–30) and the table on which it was displayed were holy symbols, but the priests were treating them like ordinary things. In fact, tainted and defiled sacrifices were being offered without any sincerity to God. What God required was pure offerings from people all around the world, from the rising of the sun even to its going down (v. 11).
Thus, God charges the priests with both despising His holy name and failing to reverence Him! They offered defective sacrifices, animals that they would never give as gifts to their authorities. They even brought sacrifices that were stolen! They were so far away from the attitude of King David, who had once exclaimed: “I will not take what is yours for the Lord, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing” (1 Chron. 21:24). Thus, to sacrifice something of no value was not a viable sacrifice since God deserves our very best at all times!
Are we giving God what He deserves, or are we guilty of offering Him our ‘leftovers’? God is not pleased with our lame efforts, weak excuses, or cheap gifts. In fact, we despise God’s holy name when we offer Him less than our best, and when we do His work in a careless manner. God’s word through His prophet Malachi should be a challenge for us to take God seriously, and to seek God and His kingdom before anything else in our lives (Matt. 6:33).