I recently studied and preached Malachi 1:6-14. This passage was a great reminder of what happens to people when they lose their focus. The priests had the best job in the world. They were in the service of presenting sacrifices and offerings to the King of Kings each day. They had been brought back from years in exile and once again they were serving in the temple. Yet as we look at the actions and the attitudes of the Priests we see that their hearts were far from the Lord and they had lost sight of who and why they were serving. The Lord begins by stating that a son honors his father and a servant his master. To honor is to respect, to esteem, to give weight to and to make much of. Everyone knows it is proper that honor is shown in these relationships. However, they were not honoring the Lord who was the Father of Israel nor fearing Him as they should as He was their master. However, the priests were apparantly clueless. The following is the outline that I preached on vs 7-14.
1. Examine Your Actions Says the Lord of Hosts (vs 7-9)
2. Quit the Charade Says the Lord of Hosts (vs 10)
3. Reflect My Greatness Says the Lord of Hosts (vs 11)
4. Examine Your Attitude Says the Lord of Hosts (vs 12,13)
5. Fear the King Says the Lord of Hosts (vs 14)
The Priests lost view of the fact that the Lord of Hosts was who they were serving. The term "Lord of Hosts" means that He was Lord over all heavenly powers, over all armies or another way of saying it is that He is the Lord Almighty. There is no one greater than Him. Their actions showed that they despised the name of the Lord. Their indignance at the Lord's charge against them shows their pride. I'm sure they felt that they were better than the people around them. So what if we are not perfect? At least we try! Well God is never OK with half heartedness. In fact in verse 10 he says that it would be better for them to shut the temple down then to continue sacrificing in the way that they were. God deserves all our best. He deserves actions that would bring him honor. He is a great God (vs11)! Our attitudes can also become skewed when we lose focus on who God really is! The priests were complaining about how tiresome it was to continually have to sacrifice animals. They had become complacent and lost their focus on the King. The Lord reminds them that those who don't worship Him in the way that he requires will be cursed for they are to fear the King! How are your actions and attitudes giving honor to the Lord? Do you reflect the greatness of God in your life? Is the power of the Gospel seen in how you live and who you live for? Are you just going through the motions in your life, church, prayer, devos or are you still amazed to be forgiven by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and your greatest desire is to know Him more! I pray that it is the latter!