7 “You place defiled food on my altar. But, you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible.
8 "When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty.
Do you ever find you sometimes treat the people you care most about worse than you treat people you barely know? For example, some people spend all day at work. They’re helping customers and clients; they’re taking orders from the boss. And all day long they do a great job, with patience and kindness. But, then they return home to their family and they just don’t have anything left over after the day. So the family gets the irritation, or the short responses, or what you will.
When I’ve been guilty of this I look at myself and think, “What are you doing? How are you going to treat everyone in the world as good as you can and then go and just give the leftovers to the ones you love the most? I think many of us can relate to doing this kind of thing. Unfortunately, people have acting this way toward God for a long time.
In Malachi, Chapter 1, God really goes after that attitude. He tells his people they’ve been defiling his altar. When they were supposed to bring the best of their flocks for their offerings, they were bringing blind, crippled, and diseased animals.
And God was not pleased at all about it.
And God makes a great point; He says you wouldn’t give offerings like that to your governors, so how are you going to go and give me, your God and redeemer, these offerings that mean so little to you?
We can really see ourselves in these people, can’t we? We’re reminded that God deserves our absolute best. Not the things we don’t care about, not the things where it doesn’t matter one way or the other if we do, which are basically our leftovers. Don’t let your generosity toward God be tainted by a desire to give as little as possible. God gave us His own Son. Let us, then, give Him what is precious in our eyes, as well.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
Think about those you love most. Do they get your generous best? If not, why not? Now, with a repentant heart go to each of them about what the Lord has shown you and make your confession. Ask them for their help in repentance. Write down your experience here.