11/4 Malachi 1:13

13 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.

After the return from captivity and the rebuilding of the temple, the people expected the Messiah to come and make their nation great. As time went on and the promises lingered, the people began to become apathetic. Where were the answers to all the promises of greatness? The priests began to be corrupt. Worship became a routine, divorce was rampant, and the justice system was failing to protect the innocent. The people would bring sacrifices that were culled from their herds as unfit or killed by wild animals. It was as if they were giving God the leftovers instead of their best offering.

They began to complain about worshiping God as if it was distracting them from more important things. The fear of God and the loving response to His steadfast love was missing. "If God won't bless us and bring the Messiah, why should we sacrifice for Him?" they might have asked. Today we might hear, "Do we have to go to church this Sunday? Why don't we spend our offering on going to the lake instead?"

If we are looking to God simply for what He can give us, we have forgotten the Great Commandment, to love God with our all. We slip away from Him, and He withholds His blessings to turn us back to what is important. Then we complain that it is of no value to serve God because He isn't blessing us, and so the cycle goes. God is worthy because of who He is. All that we are and all that we have, every breath we take is His gift to us. He deserves the best of our time, talent, and finances. Regardless of your present circumstances, His steadfast love for you never fails (Lamentations 3:22). What about your love for Him?

Consider: Have you observed how people and nations follow the pattern we see in the history of Israel? What can you do about it? What will you do about it?