Malachi 1:6-11 – What Wrong Attitudes Can We Have Toward God?

WHAT WRONG ATTITUDES CAN WE HAVE TOWARD GOD?

Malachi 1:6-11

INTRODUCTION

As parents we have a responsibility to teach our children to have good, wholesome attitudes. And probably every parent here has had to give at least that child an “attitude check.” It has been said that the attitude within is more important than the circumstances without.

As God’s children, the Lord often has to work an “attitude check” on us. It is easy for us to major our attention on minor matters.

Of all the attitudes we hold, what is our attitude toward the Lord? Some might think it strange to question our attitude toward the Lord, but it is a very proper question. The question is not how busy we are, or how spiritual we are, or how successful we are in our Christian endeavors. The question is what is our present attitude toward the Lord?

Our text concerns a group of people who had received much from God. They were the priests, those supposedly the closest to God. Yet their attitude was not very lofty. To use our vernacular today, they had a low opinion of Him.

The Lord said, “I love you” to the priests. Their position was not by works or seniority, skills or intelligence. They had their position because they had been born into the family of Aaron. No one outside the family had the privileges they had.

Because they were in this family they were guaranteed security for life; no unemployment among the priesthood. Oddly, it was the priests who led the way in showing a lack of respect toward God.

The message of Malachi will never go out of date as long as the world has Christians who feel that nothing is too good for their homes, offices, etc. and just anything will do for the Lord and His work.

THEME: WHEN CAN WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE TOWARD THE LORD?

I. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE DESPISE THE LORD    1:6

     A. There Was Not A Father-Son Relationship

NOTE: The unnaturalness of the disobedience of the priests

     1. The love of God made Israel His first born

NOTE: Say unto Pharaoh, Israel is my son, my first born   Exodus 4:22

     2. A son by natural instinct honors his father

NOTE: God loves them        vs. 2

He asks for honor and fear            vs. 6

Love cannot come until after honor and fear

          3. Penalty for a son disrespecting his father           Exodus 20:12 cf. 21:15, 17; Deuteronomy 21:18-21

     B. This Was Not A Master – Servant  Relationship

          1. A good master sees that his servants receive food, clothing, shelter, etc.

          2. The priests despised the Lord but they never left; they stayed for the free ride

NOTE: They were willing to change God’s requirements and laws by circumstances

T.S. WHEN CAN WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE TOWARD THE LORD?

          I. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE DESPISE THE LORD    1:6

II. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE POLLUTE THE LORD  vs. 7-8a

NOTE: It proved easier to complete God’s house than to live in it for His glory

     A. By Polluting The Bread

          1. The priests said, How have we defiled thee?

               a. Not, How is the food defiled?

               b. What’s that to you?

          2. Bread on a table suggests fellowship with God more than sacrifice

     B. By Offering Pitiful Sacrifices

NOTE: The best proof that they defiled the Lord was in the flagrant violations in the sacrificial system

          1. The sacrifices were polluted by blind and lame animals

NOTE: “There’s nothing wrong with it, it isn’t serious (evil vs. 8). It’s the thought that counts”

          2. The Scripture on animal sacrifices

               a. If there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the Lord thy God            Deuteronomy 15:21

               b. Free will offering    Leviticus 1:3-10

               c. No blemish … or not make an offering by fire    Leviticus 22:17-25

NOTE: God will not despise the widow’s mite  but He will despise the miser’s mite

T.S. WHEN CAN WE HAVE A WRONG  ATTITUDE TOWARD THE LORD?

          I. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE DESPISE THE LORD    1:6

        II. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE POLLUTE THE LORD  vs. 7-8a

III. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE DISREGARD THE LORD      vs. 8b-10

     A. In Comparison To The Governor          vs. 8b-9

          1. They offered to God what they would not dare offer to the governor

NOTE: The majority of the people did not regard the offerings as wicked, so the priests did not hesitate in their actions

          2. What would he think of these gifts?

          3. Could we expect any favors after such disgraceful behavior?

          4. “Beseech” means to “weaken, soften up” the face of God     vs. 9

          5. We wouldn’t dare to treat our governor this way, so why try it on God?

NOTE: All too often, Christians feel that anything is good enough for God. As long as a person or an activity is even half heartedly dedicated to God, we assume God will be delighted with us. We do not take God’s standards seriously           I Corinthians 10:31

          6. If the governor will not receive worthless gifts, how much less will Jehovah?

NOTE: No one would think of acting toward their fellow man as they do to Almighty God

     B. In Comparison To The Temple vs. 10

          1. Jehovah was so disgusted that He would gladly see His worship discontinued

          2. O, that some one of you would even shut the doors of the Temple

NOTE: They had to be paid to shut the doors of the Temple at night

          4. No sacrifices are better than vain ones   Isaiah 1:11-15

          5. No worship is better than rejection or contempt

6. It is better to lock up and stay at home  than be guilty of their practices

T.S. WHEN CAN WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE TOWARD THE LORD?

          I. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE DESPISE THE LORD    1:6

        II. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE POLLUTE THE LORD  vs. 7-8a

       III. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE DISREGARD THE LORD      vs. 8b-10

IV. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE LET OTHERS SERVE THE LORD WITHOUT US          vs. 11

     A. The Priests, The Best Examples, Were The Major Violators

          1. They failed to honor God

          2. They showed contempt by actions more than by words

     B. The Ox And Ass Know Its Owner; Israel Doesn’t       Isaiah 1:23

     C. Because Of Their Sins God Turned To The Gentiles

          1. Nineveh and Jonah

          2. Nebuchadnezzar

     D. The Gentiles, Who Did Not Have The Clarity Of God’s Revelation As The Jews Did, Honored The Lord More Than The Priests

NOTE:  Ultimately the real reason we don’t sacrifice properly is because we don’t love the Lord

          1. The sacrifices of the Gentiles were more acceptable than the unworthy sacrifices offered by the Jews cf. Luke 4:24-27

NOTE: Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully           Jeremiah 48:10

          2. The Gentile sacrifices       Psalm 51:17

CONCLUSION

WHEN CAN WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE TOWARD THE LORD?

I. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDEWHEN WE DESPISE THE LORD     1:6

II. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE POLLUTE THE LORD  vs. 7-8a

III. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE DISREGARD THE LORD      vs. 8b-10

IV. WE HAVE A WRONG ATTITUDE WHEN WE LET OTHERS SERVE THE LORD WITHOUT US          vs. 11

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