We are really no different than the Jews to whom Malachi wrote so long ago. We, like they, are more concerned about what our worship looks like than we are about the condition of the hearts of worshipers. We use His Name as an exclamation mark, yet claim to love Him. We bring sin into the sanctuary by refusing to repent of sin in our own hearts. We write checks, teach Sunday School classes, smile at and shake hands with visitors, unless there is something else we could be doing on Sunday morning.
Then we ask, “What do you mean God doesn’t accept my worship?”
Friend, God not only doesn’t accept our show of worship, He says:
Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar! (1:10)
God would rather we packed up our hymnals, SS lesson books, and dumped our AV equipment in the trash. He would rather we nail the doors of our churches closed rather than continue to offend Him with our useless worship.
“But, Connie,” you say. “God was talking to the nation of Israel about their animal sacrifices. You are reading too much into this.” Am I?
I the Lord do not change. (3:6)
If He didn’t accept half-hearted worship back then, He doesn’t accept it today. If He was disgusted by a blemished animal on the altar of sacrifice, He is also disgusted by my offering of worship blemished by sin I’ve refused to confess.
I hope you read the book of Malachi today, and hear God speak to you about your own worship. These four short chapters have so much to tell us about worship that God accepts. And isn’t that what we who love Him want in our worship of Him?
I’m praying for you.