“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.”
– Malachi 1:14
The context here in Malachi 1:14 is God speaking through Malachi to the leaders among God’s people, who had led the people to dishonor God, to offer sacrifices that were not worthy of God. Specifically here, the picture is a cheat is what it’s called, who has a male in his flock without blemish, vows it, and then sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. So not according to God. Something that is less than worthy of a sacrifice to God. Something that was not near as costly. It was a lot more convenient for this worshiper to offer a sacrifice that was blemished, but it brought dishonor to God. And God pronounces curse upon this picture of worship that is not worthy of his name, that does not exalt him for the great king that he is.
Malachi 1:14 Reminds Us Our Lives Should Worship God
Are we offering to God a sacrifice of worship with our lives that is pleasing to Him?
It certainly begs the question in my life, in your life, in our lives, are we offering to God a sacrifice of worship with our lives that is pleasing to him. That aligns with his word. That shows his worth. Or are we giving just parts of our lives here or there? Not all of our lives totally surrendered to him in worship.
Just pause and ask yourself the question today. Is your worship most pleasing, maximally pleasing to God right now, or are there things you are holding back? Are there areas of your life, of your thought life, of your desires, of your plans for your future? Any areas of your life, relationships, where you are holding back, doing things your own way instead of saying, “God, I want you to be glorified in it all.”
Malachi 1:14 Leads Us to Pray
Oh God, please make that our prayer, that you would be glorified maximally in our lives, in every facet of our lives. We don’t want to patronize you with our worship. The last thing we want, need to do is to gather together on Sundays, even, with your people to sing songs while we are holding on to sin in our lives. Where we are running after selfish pursuits in our lives. God, please let our lives honor you.
This Verse Leads Us to Praise God
For you are indeed a great king. All the nations should fear Your name. So please, O God, don’t let us trivialize your worship in any way. We want our lives to show your worship. And we want the nations to know your worship.
Even today, we pray specifically for the Barwala people, Muslim peoples in Pakistan, over half a million of them. God, none of them claiming to believe in Jesus that we know of. Many of them never even having heard his name. God, please call your name, which is worthy of all worship, to be made known among them. Please show in our lives, that you are worthy of all of our worship. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.