Withholding Our Best

We tend to give our best to individuals and institutions while unfortunately offering God our leftovers. God is too glorious to present meager offerings before Him.

4 Types of Gifts to the LORD

  1. Obligatory Exchange – Some attempt to give a thoughtless gift to God once they feel guilty about something He gave them.
  2. Frantic Purchase – Some throw a gift together for God because they are so busy with other priorities.
  3. Shiny Packaging – Some give the appearance of an expensive gift so that others can see it, but there is actually nothing of substance on the inside.
  4. Sincere Offering – Some offer God their best out of the overflow of what God has given them.

God’s Rebuke

Mal. 1:6-14

“A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a father, where is my honor? And if I am a master, where is my fear? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord’s table may be despised. When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the Lord of hosts.And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. 10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be[b] great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the Lord’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised.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.14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

  • Our religious problems all stem from the fact that God isn’t as important to us as He ought to be (1:6).
  • When we give others our best and God our leftovers, we prove what our priorities really are (1:7-8).
  • It is audacious to withhold our best from God and then attempt to brownnose Him into compliance (1:9).
  • God would rather shut the doors to worship instead of allowing mediocre devotion to Him (1:10).
  • The greatness of God will be proclaimed in the nations, but we are not guaranteed to be the megaphone (1:11).
  • God is more frustrated with your apathetic worship than you are bored with it (1:12-14).

Our Response

  • Stop giving your best to every other pursuit and offering your leftovers to God.
  • You have nothing with which to bribe God, so stop trying to make a deal with Him.
  • Allow God’s great gift for you to motivate your great offerings for Him.