Daily Devotional, Wednesday, May 8th, 2019
Polluted Offering (Images copyright of their respective owners)
I love the hymn "Jesus Paid it all, all to Him I owe." Think about the concept for a minute: Jesus took all of His Heavenly Father's wrath toward us upon Himself (to you skeptics out there about the difference between God's wrath in the Old and New Testament, Jesus took God's wrath for us, and God is holding it back until the time is complete; see Revelation). So the natural response SHOULD be to give all back to Him, right? Right?
Why, then, do we think that when we just show up to church, or give to God in any amount, that He's suddenly impressed and happy with everything we do? On Sunday, brother JJ opened the service (which surprised all of us, because we tried to find the mystery voice) by playing an excerpt of a sermon given by Francis Chan on how our showing up for worship does not automatically mean God is honored. I loved it! It challenged my heart (and yes, preachers need to get fed, which is why I attend classes in Sunday School instead of teaching one!), and helped me to come to an understanding that I need to give EVERYTHING, or else I'm not really giving anything.
This is not a new concept. In the Old Testament, we see God approved of Cain's Sacrifice, but utterly rejected Cain's. Throughout the Law and the Prophets, we see over and over again how the hearts of the people were far from God, even though they continued to give regular sacrifices. Jesus points out
7You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8“‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; 9in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’” (Matthew 15, Mark 7)
The book of Malachi (See below) speaks of how the people would bring blind, lame, or sick sacrifices, and the priests would comply! God wants our best! Not only that, He wants Everything! And we should not give our best because we are compelled, but because we love God THAT MUCH. Today, in your own personal studies (you ARE reading the word for yourself, right?), ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you areas in your life where you are holding back. Then, give everything over to God, let Him lead the outcome, and find freedom in His supreme control. When you love God with everything, you hold nothing back, and you will find that neither does He!
From Malachi 1:
6 “A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord's table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts. 9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. 10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be[b] great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord's table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the Lord of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the Lord. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.