As you will see in the following verses Malachi uses a dramatic style that uses questions asked by God to his people.
Malachi 1:6 "The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says to the priests: “A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. If I am your father and master, where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have shown contempt for my name! “But you ask, ‘How have we ever shown contempt for your name?’7 “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.“Then you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices?[c]’“You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect. 8 When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn’t that wrong? And isn’t it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” asks the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.10 “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings."
The first question God is saying, “If I am indeed your father and master where is my respect”. By giving unhealthy sacrifices they were dishonoring God. By the priest excepting the blemished sacrifices they led the people to believe God would accept them. So in these verses God reprimands the priests because they are sinning by offering blemished sacrifices. The correct method of sacrifice was to bring your most perfect animal, something that you could have sold for money, but instead sacrificed it to show your dependence on the Lord’s ability to provide. These priests were not doing this; they were sacrificing blind, sick, and all sorts of blemished animals. In the Tyndale life application bible it said, “The worship of God was no longer a heartfelt adoration; it was instead simply a job for the priest”. In other words, the Priests were no longer in awe, and feared his presence in the Temple, it was just a routine of everyday life. Those words caught my eye, and drove a question my way. As a minister, has God become just a job that I plan and schedule things for? Have we in fact as a people lost the awe of who God is, and the very power he holds? I think it is a question for us all. In the New Testament we are all considered messengers for God. So has your worship just become a routine, or is it a true heartfelt desire to worship your Savior?
In verse 9 “Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?” WOW now there is a tough statement. Have you ever been around someone who told you everything you wanted to hear, and you knew they were definitely not a person of their word? I imagine God feels the same here. Although these priest were talking about God’s love, and his laws they were turning around and breaking them. So he was basically saying if you could not offer me a deserving sacrifice, why should I even give you a thought. If you cannot do what I have asked of you why do you deserve anything at all? Then he goes a step further and says, “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings. God is saying I had rather you board the doors up, go home, forget about the Temple rather than offer me worthless sacrifices. He is saying don’t give me your second best, don’t bring me what you can afford, don’t bring me your leftovers; I want the best you have. As New Testament believers Roman 12 says, “And so, dear brothers and sisters,[a] I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him”.
The book of Malachi applies to us because even today God is asking the question what kind of sacrifice are you giving? He is calling us to evaluate our commitment, the sincerity or our worship, and directions of our life. Would God rather us not come to church, than to bring him what we have been? Would he say to us I do not except your sacrifice because it is not the best you have to give. Oh how our churches need revival! If we would begin in our own lives and churches, not only asking these questions, but also fixing the problem then how could revival not follow! How could God’s great love not be poured out to his people because Jeremiah says, “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you…
I tell you today, that as I type this to you , I am filled with an overall brokenness that I have not felt in a long time. A brokenness over my own sacrifices to God. I have cheated him out of parts of my life that he deeply desires to have. I so desire a revival in my own life, my church, and my nation. I believe we are in the days Paul talks of when he says, “3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound[a] teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” I ask you today is your life a living, Holy sacrifice? Is it enough? Are you giving all you have? Would God say he finds it acceptable in his sight?