Chapter 1

Part 2
Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The
Prince of Peace.  

However, the priests of Israel did not respect the Eternal as the
one who created them and who spent His love on them.  He was
not only their Father in the sense that He had created them, but
He was their Master because He had the right to demand of
them their allegiance.  

Rather than honoring and respecting the Eternal, they despised
Him!  In addition, they were so indifferent to the whole business
of being priests that they could not even see that they despised
the Eternal.  So, they asked, “How have we despised you?”  

It is appropriate that we investigate the word <name> as used in
this verse, twice – in the KJV Translation.  The translation
above leaves out the word <name> because of the inaccurate
perspective it gives when rendered in that way from the Hebrew
to the English.  The word <name> means more than just the
pronunciation of a word.  The word <name> means the whole of
what the Eternal is as used in this verse.  The priests were
probably most respectful of His name, as they understood it.  
They were so respectful of it that they would not even
pronounce it for fear they might bring dishonor on themselves.  
We will see in the next few verses what dishonoring God’s name
means.  Notice that there is an absence of any mention of the
pronunciation of God’s name, but what God does mention is
their attitude toward Him and the way that they went about
doing those things, which He required of them.

Malachi 1:7 You approach my altar with defiled bread, and you ask,
“How have we shown disrespect for you?”  Your thoughts are that the
table of the Eternal is despicable.

The word translated as <offer> in the KJV is #05066, which
means to come near or approach.  Without doubt, they were
offering this defiled bread on the altar, but the word <approach>
tells us something beyond what the word <offer> indicates.  In
other words, they dared to even come close to the altar with
defiled bread.  What this tells the believer is that one should not
even approach doing what is wrong much less the doing of it.  
This was telling the priests that they should not have even come
near the Eternal’s altar with defiled or polluted bread, and here
they were offering it on the altar.

Nevertheless, the priests were so dull that they could not even
conceive of having done anything that was disrespectful to the
Eternal.  Their disrespect came about because their conscience
had gotten to the point that they could do things that were
wrong and yet they considered them as very acceptable.  They
had exercised their senses to do evil rather than good.  Their
attitude toward the table of the Eternal was such that it was a
nuisance; it was bothersome to them.  They had to go through
with it because it was required of them, but they did not do so
for the love of serving the Eternal.  It was a job to them, and a
way to put food on their table, but they had no joy in the doing.  
God wants us to enjoy living our lives according to His covenant,
not something that we feel we have to do.

Malachi 1:8 When you approach my altar with a blind, sick, or lame
offering, is that not wrong?  Make such an offering to your governor.  
Will he be pleased with you or accept you?  Says the Eternal of hosts.

The priests had some blind spots in their thinking.  They felt that
one could use the blind, sick or lame animals for sacrifices to
offer to the Eternal.  They had not sorted out in their conscience
that one should be ashamed to approach the Eternal with such
offerings.  There respect for God was such that they were not
very careful at all, in their approach to Him.

Through Malachi, the Eternal is saying to them that they need
to reconsider their sloppy and disrespectful attitude toward
Him.  Making a contrast sometimes helps us to understand
whether we are doing the right thing.  Here, the Eternal gave
them a contrast for their thinking.  Would they go over to the
mansion of the governor and approach him with pride, in search
of his approbation, as they offered him a blind, sick, or lame
sheep?  If so, they would be very disappointed.  

The contrast should have been effective.  As they approached
the governor’s mansion, they would want to have the best – the
perfect animal from their flock – to offer to him.  However, the
governor is only a man.  Yet, here they were, coming before the
Eternal with blind, sick, and lame offerings!  It was very
insupportable.  They would not budge God to approve of their
offerings.  He would not be pleased nor accept their person.  We
should keep this in mind today as we offer ourselves to God.  
Are we giving Him the best, or are we making excuses and
trying to get the most for the least?

Malachi 1:9 Now, beseech El before His face and see if He will have
mercy.  See if He will have regards to you by such means, says the
Eternal of hosts.

This verse is somewhat vague in the original.  We must
understand it in context.  In the previous verse, God invited the
priests to take their blind, sick, or lame offering to the governor
and see what kind of favor they would receive at his hand.  
After God drives the lesson-by-contrast home, He advises them
to consider whether He would be any more considerate of their
offerings than the governor would.  In other words, would the
Eternal overlook their slipshod approach and give them mercy
with such despicable offerings?  

Malachi 1:10 Oh, that there was one of you who would shut the doors of
the temple to prevent you from lighting useless fires on my altar!  I have
no pleasure in you, says the Eternal of hosts; neither will I accept an
offering from your hand.

The first sentence of verse 10 is also vague in the Hebrew.  But
kept in context it seems to say that rather than the priests
continuing to offer these despicable sacrifices it would be good if
some one of them would have enough righteousness to stand up
and close the doors of the temple.  This would prevent the
priests from offering sacrifices uselessly on the Eternal’s altar.  

In the last sentence, we see the answer to whether the Eternal
would receive these blind, sick, and lame offerings.  He says that
He has no pleasure in the conduct of the priests, and that He will
not accept an offering from their hands!

Be not deceived, no man can mock God.  Whatsoever a man
sows, even the same will he also reap.  If one offers himself to
God as an afterthought, then he should remember what God
says concerning these priests.  The Eternal expects the best
from us as His living sacrifices.

Galatians 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man
soweth, that shall he also reap.  

Malachi 1:11 From one end of the earth to the other I shall be honored
among the nations.  Everywhere incense will be brought before me –
acceptable offerings.  For I will be great among the nations, says the
Eternal of hosts.

This verse seems to be a prophecy concerning the ultimate
preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles and their acceptance of
it.  At that time, God would receive honor from every quarter of
the earth rather than the dishonor He was, at that time,
receiving from the temple in Jerusalem.  

The Messiah expressed this understanding to the Samaritan
woman who questioned Him concerning where one should
worship God.  The time had even then come when the true
believers worshipped the Father in spirit and in truth.  God is not
interested in a form of worship in which those who worship have
reduced it to a ritual.  He wants true and sincere worship.

John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a
prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in
Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye
shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for
salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall
worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to
worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit
and in truth.

So here, through Malachi, the Eternal is warning the priests that
the time is coming when incense would not be offered from the
temple, but from everywhere upon the earth.  In Revelation, we
see that the prayers of the saints are incense to God.  These
prayers would be sincere, honest worship and adoration for God,
whereas, the offering of the incense in the temple had become
something done only because it was required.

Revelation 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four
[and] twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them
harps, and golden vials full of odors (incense), which are the prayers of
saints.  

Malachi 1:12 But you dishonor me when you say, “The table of the
Eternal is polluted, and its fruit and meat is despicable”.

The priests dishonored the Eternal by their actions and words.  
The dishonor here refers back to the name of the Eternal in the
previous verse.  The word <name> signifies all that the Eternal
is.  

They did their work because they had to and despised their
portions of the food.  They were tired of meat every day.  Their
attitude displayed one of familiarity where people begin to
grumble and gripe about their lot in life – even though it may be
several stations above the majority of the world.

Malachi 1:13 You say, Behold what a weariness it is!  In addition, you
have sneered at it, says the Eternal of hosts.  Moreover, you bring before
me an offering of a torn animal or one that is lame or sick.  Do you think
I will accept such an offering from you, says the Eternal?

These priests during Malachi’s day were weary of doing what
they should have enjoyed to do.  They sneered at their
responsibilities.  Someone would come to the temple with a torn,
lame or sick animal, and the priests did not teach him that this
was an unacceptable offering to God.  Rather they offered the
animal as though it was perfect in an indifferent manner for they
would rather have been somewhere else, enjoying life!

The attitudes that we are reading about in the book of Malachi
are types for us to compare our spiritual life before God.  We
are the priesthood today!  How do we stack up with the priests
of Malachi’s day?

1 Peter 2:9 But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy
nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him
who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:  

Malachi 1:14 But cursed be the deceiver, who sacrifices a worthless
animal to me, when he has in his flock a good animal to give me!  For I
am a great King, says the Eternal of hosts, and I am to be feared among
all peoples of the earth.

In this verse we see that anyone who had a good animal in his
flock and yet he vowed and sacrificed a worthless animal – one
that was torn, lame, blind, sick, etc. – he would be cursed of
God.  For the Eternal was a great King and all peoples of the
earth were to fear Him.

Here we see that the Eternal was not just a governor of the
state of Israel, but a great King over all the earth.  This is
probably a reference to His future role as King of kings in the
Kingdom of God over all the earth, at which time all peoples of
the earth will fear Him.

Revelation 17:14  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb
shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they
that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful.  

The point made here is that the priests were not sacrificing their
poor-grade offerings to anyone less than to a great King.  The
priests should have corrected the people when they brought less
than the best for their offerings.  For even though they were not
corrected, they would receive a curse if they had a good animal
in their flock but chose a low-grade offering for the Eternal
instead.

Such lack of honor was not to be born by the One who had
created the heavens and the earth.  Again, these are lessons for
us today.  What type of offering are we bringing before God in
our personal lives?

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God,
that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
[which is] your reasonable service.

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Malachi "My Messenger"