Malachi 1:6-14 Worship – Authentic Christianity Part 2
Worship is not the idea of singing. Worship is in giving your best attention. Why? Because you can give your best attention when you listen to worship and its related music.
Here is an article about Matt Redman:
The song dates back to the late 1990s, born from a period of apathy within Matt’s home church, Soul Survivor, in Watford, England. Despite the country’s overall contribution to the current worship revival, Redman’s congregation was struggling to find meaning in its musical outpouring at the time.
“There was a dynamic missing, so the pastor did a pretty brave thing,” he recalls. “He decided to get rid of the sound system and band for a season, and we gathered together with just our voices. His point was that we’d lost our way in worship, and the way to get back to the heart would be to strip everything away.”
Reminding his church family to be producers in worship, not just consumers, the pastor, Mike Pilavachi, asked, “When you come through the doors on a Sunday, what are you bringing as your offering to God?”
Giving my best worship is like giving God my best attention.
Three times in fourteen verses, Malachi is told: “My name shall be great among the nations.”
What does this have to do with worship? God wants first place in everyone’s lives. He wants the attention of everyone.
When you want the attention of a political official, you want to give your best. You dress up, you brush your teeth, and you come early to his office. You wait on him to appear, out of respect for the person and the office. You present yourself to the person and you listen to him.
The best line in the book, perhaps the Old Testament (v.8):
““When you present a blind animal for sacrifice, is it not wrong? And when you present a lame or sick animal, is it not wrong? Bring it to your governor! Would he be pleased with you or show you favor?” asks the Lord of Armies.” (Malachi 1:8, CSB)
The answer from God is clearly a no. Ask yourself this question: Why should I give God my best attention?
WHY SHOULD I GIVE BY BEST ATTENTION TO GOD?
1. I should give my best attention to God because my worship of God needs to be a priority. (1:8)
The reason these people were giving God their sick and lame was because they did not think highly of God. God was just not the top of their agenda. That is the point of the comparison with the governor.
2. I should give my best attention because my worship of God needs to be something I give, not take. (1:12)
Worship should be a sacrifice to God. Worship is not just a fill-up station for my soul. Worship is not like a fast-food meal that I get at McDonald’s and take away to eat on my own. Worship is like a gift that I give to God because of who He is. God is holy. I am worthless. Because of Him, I have great worth. Therefore, I give back to God because I want to love Him.
3. I should give my best attention because my worship of God is worthy of my time. (1:13)
When we don’t think that God is a priority in our lives, and we don’t think that God wants my worship as a gift, two things can happen:
1. I get tired of coming to Him in worship.
People just did not care about God. When you don’t care about God, then worship becomes a burden, not a joy. Worship becomes a weary burden on my back – a thing that I do simply because I think I have to, not because I want to. As a result, I just get tired of coming to God in worship. The songs don’t seem real. I don’t He cares. And it just becomes routine.
Worship should never be routine.
2. I get lazy in the way I worship Him.
The second quality described here is the word: “to sneer at it.” I just become lazy. I look at God and go – I am just going to get by with you. Do you just take anything from me? Of course you do. So I will just give what is enough – my leftovers.
When you have a guest come over, perhaps the governor of state, would you serve them leftovers from your last meal? No, of course not. Why not? Because you respect them and you want to share the best of what you have with joy. I mean if you do share your leftovers with your guests, it says alot about what you think about that person.
I mean, if I were to invite guests to my home, I would never consider giving them leftover food from the day before. I would take time and sacrifice myself in the kitchen and prepare the best meal I could.
EX: There was a song in the Disney animated film Beauty and Beast. It was entitled: “Be Our Guest”. The song was about how the people would prepare for the princess with all of the best plates, table settings, and food.
From Beauty and the Beast
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin ’round your neck, cherie
And we provide the rest
Soup du jour
Hot hors d’oeuvres
Why, we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff
Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes
They can sing
They can dance
After all, Miss, this is France
And a dinner here is never second best
Go on, unfold your menu
Take a glance and then you’ll
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Be our guest!
Please, be our guest!
God is your guest in worship. You should treat Him like your best guest.
4. I should give my best attention because my worship of God is something I should do with integrity. (1:14)
Why is this type of sacrifice so evil? Why is God displeased? Because we do not desire to give our best of what we have. The reason the blind and the lame are bad in this case (or in any case) is that there were better sacrifices to give. There were other healthy animals. But these priests chose not to give them for two reasons:
1. It would cost me something. (v.8, 13)
It costs less me for me to give away cheaper things.
EX: As we are selling our apartment, some furniture that we have is real cheap to give away. But some furniture had cost us much when we bought it, and we are not willing to part with it. We have to part with all of the furniture. And it is not like we don’t need the furniture anymore. Some of our furniture is not worth much. Some is worth much more. But we give it away anyway. The same is true with my worship. We have to learn to give it away to God. It will cost me something to give God my best attention. It may not be in the form of animals, but it will cost me something.
This is why sometimes worship can feel like it will wear you down. The “weariness” about which the priests complained was because they thought it was not worth the cost. They were trying to get away with the cheap, and not give God their best attention.
2. It would characterize me as a Christian. (v.14)
A Christian is someone who follows and obeys Jesus Christ – a person who worships and honors and glorifies God. But God was mad at some people who claimed to follow Him, because they deceived others into believing that they don’t follow God at all. This is indicated by the use of the vow. The vow is a public recognition by me that I want to give God my best attention in a matter. But these people were saying publicly that they would give God their best attention and then they would go off and do the opposite.
So when I give God my best attention in worship, people will see me and realize that I am a Christian. God takes that seriously. You should too.