Saturday, February 2, 2008

What I got from Malachi (another entry from my personal journal)

December 4, 2007

I was reading Malachi tonight b/c I believe it is the book our Sunday school will be discussing this coming Sunday. I was only planning on reading the book, but boy! Did God ever convict me!

Every time I spend being depressed or in the pit, as I call it (as does King David), I know that I eventually will be lifted out and that the Lord will show me a reason for it. I don’t know if this simple conviction is the reason for my current residence in the pit or not, but I wanted to make note of what God has made painfully aware to me through Malachi.

The very first chapter – God is scolding the Israelites b/c of their contemptible offerings. Verse six “ A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the LORD Almighty. “it is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’

Verse seven “You place defiled food on my altar. But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the LORD’s table is contemptible.

Verse eight “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.

This convicted me b/c for many months now when I tithe, I have not done so in a way that honors God. I have simply been writing out another check as if it were a bill. In fact, that’s usually when I write out my tithe check, when I’m paying bills. I realized from reading this that I am offering God blind animals, crippled animals, b/c I am not giving out of gratefulness or out of worship. I have only been giving out of obligation and/or habit.

When I realized this, I was so heartbroken that I have been so ungrateful to my LORD, the LORD Almighty!

I know that many people get tired of hearing the preacher talk about tithing again and again; but you know what? It isn’t the preacher commanding us to tithe – IT IS GOD! Why? God doesn’t need “our money”. He wants us to recognize that we have what we have b/c of HIM. He wants us to have another avenue to worship Him! YES – WORSHIP HIM THROUGH TITHING!!!

To continue in Malachi – verse nine “Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?” – says the LORD Almighty. Verse 10 – “Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the LORD Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands. (Italics mine) Verse 11 – My name will be great among the nations, from the rising to the setting of the sun. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to my name, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the LORD Almighty.

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