Today’s devotion from Malachi 1-4. There are many well known verses in Malachi’s writing, but today I was struck with the initial accusation God levels against His people. He proclaims, “When you present a blind animal for sacrifice, is it not wrong? And when you present a lame or sick animal, is it not wrong?” (Malachi 1:8, CSB)
The point is that the people’s actions revealed how unimportant God had become in their minds and hearts. Even though the prescribed offerings demanded perfect and unblemished animals, those thought of as choice, the people were using worship as a way to cull the herd. They were bringing the blind and the lame. That is what they thought of God. He was not worthy of their best.
Further, it was what they thought of themselves. Not only did their actions demonstrate a contempt for God, but, since these animals were the cost of the forgiveness of their sins, they must have thought that little of their sins and their salvation as well. It is no wonder, then, that the people’s marriage vows were abandoned and they blatantly robbed God by withholding their tithes and offerings. When we fail to see the worthiness of God, we lose the true value of ourselves and others created in His image.
As we conclude our look at the Old Testament, think about the truth of this concept. How much has been dedicated to seeing the worthiness of God and understanding His love of others in real and tangible ways? How many times have we seen Him decry the oppression of others? One cannot leave the Old Testament without a sense of God’s care and concern for the least among us.
Yet, so many people get this backward. They start with the least of these, and fail to realize that their value is in the worth given to them by our Creator, which is where the Social Gospel goes terribly wrong. We value others because we first value God supremely above all else, which is often evidenced in our worship of Him.
How do you treat others? Maybe the better question is, how do you worship God? Do you give Him your best? Do you demonstrate His worthiness in worship, or do you give Him your leftovers, your seconds, and your unimportant?