Today we close out the Old Testament. It has been a long nine months going through the Old Testament. I love the Old Testament. There are so many wonderful stories as well as so many heart breaking stories. I love that throughout God gives hope in the darkest moments of despair. Now for the next four hundred and some years God will be somewhat silent as Israel waits for the coming Messiah. But he does not leave them without a challenge to give fully to Him.
The entire book of Malachi is God challenging the quality of the sacrifices and gifts brought before God. To be frank, their gifts were not that great … “You have shown contempt by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar.” (Malachi 1:7 NLT) … “You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect. When you give blind animals as sacrifices, is not that wrong?” (Malachi 1:7-8 NLT) … “How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered!” (Malachi 1:10 NLT) This is just a little sample of the strong words God brings against Israel.
Let’s apply these thoughts from God to our giving. What does it look like? Are we giving God our best or what is left? Yesterday I had lunch with a very godly woman whose husband is barely hanging onto life right now because of his health. She made the comment that when he was healthy and involved in his day job that the school he worked for got the best of him. How often does that scenario play out in your relationship with God? How often do we let everything else come before our relationship with God and when we get to Him, we are wiped out, barley giving Him any quality. As we turn to the life saving mission of Jesus tomorrow, let’s contemplate our sacrifices before God.