God would have His people know that He loves them,
therefore justly takes it very ill to have His favors slighted and His ordinances partaken of in hypocrisy.
Those who come to holy ordinances irreverently,
going away from them never the better, and under no concern,
in effect say, “The table of the LORD is contemptible” (v. 7).
1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.
2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob,
3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.
4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever.
5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.
6 ¶ A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.
9 And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.
10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
11 For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.
12 ¶ But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.
13 Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.
14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.
Malachi 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Malachi 1 – Sincerity of Worship Sought
The love referred to in these opening Malachi 1:1-5, was exemplified in the divine choice, that through Israel the whole world might be blessed. Hate does not mean positive dislike but a forfeiture of the supreme place of privilege and ministry. Esau’s sensuous nature preferred the mess of pottage to the birthright, and this was characteristic of his people. In Malachi 1:6-14 the prophet turns to the priests. They despised God’s name and without scruple offered on his altar the lame, the blind, and the sick. They did not hesitate to speak of the routine of Levitical service as a weariness. Notice the pathetic appeal of Malachi 1:10, “Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought.” In contrast to this indifference, the truly marvelous outlook in Malachi 1:11 is very significant. Far away from Jewish altars, God’s name was revered in Gentile lands, and sacrifices were offered which He accepted. The words remind us of Acts 10:34-35. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Malachi 1:8—Offer it now unto thy governor.
Malachi’s special work was in stirring up the priesthood to their duty, to the proper maintenance of the Temple services. They were very careless of these, and treated their holy duties with great contempt. The special method adopted seems to have been in the presentation of the blind, the lame, and sick on the altar; while the healthy and whole were reserved for private use. “The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible” (Malachi 1:12). Such unconcealed irreverence and greed could not pass unrebuked. They are asked to compare their service to God with their service to man; their sacrifices in the Temple with their gifts before their governors and rulers. Would these be pleased, and accept the gift, if they were treated in the same way as God was?
Professing Christians might sometimes be addressed in the same terms. When they slip a copper coin into the collecting-bag, which they would not think of offering to the butler in a friend’s house; when they give more to the revenue officer than to the Church or poor; when they give to the Lord’s work whatever they can spare without loss, and, indeed, are glad to be rid of; whenever they spend more time and strength on public duties than on the calls of Christianity—at such times we might fairly bid them present it to their governor.
In Malachi 1:10 God is heard asking for someone to close the doors of the Temple. He would rather this than be mocked by such heartless rites. It was as though He would rather that no prayers were offered, no services maintained, no holy hymn sung—than that there should be such perfunctory and heartless worship. Let us be very careful against this spirit in our daily devotions! —Our Daily Homily
”WHAT LACK I YET?”
One cannot square accounts with God on any other basis than complete surrender, whether of the will or of wealth. What lack I yet?” asked the rich young man who prided himself extravagantly on his moral life. Go, said Jesus, sell your estate and give the proceeds to the needy. We have no evidence that this young Jew got his money in any but an honest method, and if his way to salvation lay along the path of complete surrender what shall those do who derive their riches by corrupting law makers and by defeating justice, and by cornering products and raising the price of food?