HONORING GOD IN WORSHIP
Thursday, 9 May 2019
Malachi 1 : 1-14
"A son honors his father, And a servant his master, If then I am the Father, Where is my honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the Lord of hosts ....." -Malachi 1:6
‘Malachi a prophet in the days of Nehemiah, directs his message of judgment to a people plagued with corrupt priests, wicked practices, and a false sense of security in their privileged relationship with God' (Introduction to Malachi-NKJV). He points his finger to the problems like hypocrisy, worshiping God without reverence and fear, arrogance, divorce, etc. People had become so sinful that the Word of God had no effect on them. A lamentable situation! So for another 400 years, God did not send any messenger to speak to them till the time of John the Baptist.
Two things are to be noticed in this chapter, namely: Mal 1:1-5 - we see the ingratitude of Israel and Mal 1:6-14 - we see their careless worship without proper reverence to God who loved them so much. This was much more serious a crime than those in the times of Isaiah and Amos. Their generation was more fanatic in regard to worship and lost their sense of moral obligations to society. They put every letter to practice but forgot to attend with tenderness to their own brother or sister. Here in Malachi's days, we see that godly ordinances of worship were not honored and they offered the lame and blind on the altar. This was purely not acceptable to the Lord. He asks them in Mal 1:10, to close the gates of the temple so that no one will offer these abominable sacrifices.
Our chosen verse clearly shows how God is their Father and with fatherly love, He chooses to correct them for their lack of reverence and worship. The first verse God spoke to them is not judgment, but He puts it clear to them that 'I have loved you' (Mal 1:2). This gives the undertone of all that is spoken henceforth. Out of His Fatherly love, God chose to chastise them and correct them. What a loving Father in heaven we have!
What relevance does this message from Malachi have for our generation? In our generation also we see many adopting the same attitudes like that in Malachi. We do not care about the way we offer our worship. Simple attendance for worship is not what is expected of us. We need to offer our best to God- not the lame and the blind. Our worship should be marked with love and adoration to God our Father. Unless our worship becomes a loving adoration, worship is not acceptable to God. It will mean only a simple lip service. To offer acceptable worship, we need to follow some simple step of obedience.
Prepare ourselves for worship: There needs to be a preparation to come to worship. Before coming we need to sit before God and check our lives and correct them. Pray for His blessings.
Be set apart: Do not bring the world along with you to worship. Let it be you and God. All our connections with the world and things of the world should be set aside during the time of worship.
Come to have communion with a loving God: Worship originates out of a loving relationship with God. When this relationship is not clear then the worship becomes mechanical. So come to have proper communication with God.
May God today help us to check our lives and offer our God the due love, reverence, fear, and worship due to Him alone!
Dear Father in heaven, I understand my faulty worship attitudes.
Here I surrender my life to offer proper meaningful worship to You.
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