But you say, ‘What a weariness this is”, and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.
I’m just about all the way through the Old Testament on this go round with the Bible.
This verse spoke to me beyond the literal interpretation. Animal sacrifices are obviously an antiquated idea. They existed in Biblical times to drive home the seriousness of sin. Through these sacrifices you atoned or paid for your sin.
The price was steep. You sacrificed your best. You sacrificed your unblemished, your males who could produce quality off spring, the males that could grow your flock and enrich your wealth.
You give your best to God because God comes first. By not giving your best you anger God and hurt yourself.
We no longer sacrifice animals, at least not the sane among us. God sacrificed his best for us so we no longer have to spill blood at the altar of the Lord. So how does this verse pertain to life today?
When I read this I immediately understood what God was saying to me through Malachi. God still expects us to give our best throughout our life and it’s not your prized goat, bull, rooster or pigeon. It’s you!
God blesses us with gifts and talents and expects us to get up each day and use these gifts to the best of our ability. God wants your best every day. God wants one hundred percent of your effort every day and to not do so is a waste of God’s gift. It’s a sin.
To just walk through life and not improve yourself to the best or your ability is like the ancient Israelites sacrificing the lame bull.
It’s tough to give one hundred percent every day. It’s almost impossible. Every day we slack off a bit and fall short, even when we try our best.
But this is the sacrificed commanded by God; give your best every day.
By the way my first born could have been named Malachi if his mother would not have stepped in. At least Malachi was better than Bullwinkle.
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