“You offer defiled food on My altar. But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’ 8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts. 9 “But now entreat God’s favor, That He may be gracious to us. While this is being done by your hands, Will He accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts. 10 “Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,” Says the Lord of hosts, “Nor will I accept an offering from your hands. 11 For from the rising of the sun, even to its going down, My name shall be great among the Gentiles; In every place incense shall be offered to My name, And a pure offering; For My name shall be great among the nations,” Says the Lord of hosts. 12 “But you profane it, In that you say, ‘The table of the Lord is defiled; And its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’ 13 You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’ And you sneer at it,” Says the Lord of hosts. “And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick; Thus you bring an offering! Should I accept this from your hand?” Says the Lord. 14 “But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male, And takes a vow, But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished– For I am a great King,” Says the Lord of hosts, “And My name is to be feared among the nations.
For the longest time, I have been drawn to these verses….it paints an entirely different picture of our God for me. We’re used to seeing him, in our minds, hugging children, welcoming birdies to rest on His shoulder …not this God who would angrily push our gifts and offerings away, telling us they are not good enough! He even says, “Don’t even START the fire if this is the junk you’re going to bring Me! Garbage!”
He didn’t want the sick animals, the stolen ones, or the ones who were lame or ones with a disability. He wanted only the best.
What does this mean for us today? I’m no theologian, so I’m sure there is much depth that I am not seeing. So I will keep it simple.
God does not want what is easy for us to give. When our lives our rosy, and everything is peachy, our offering of thanks are what He expects from us. After all, life is rosy, isn’t it?? But how often do we not stop in the middle of our happy parade and thank the Father, who made it so?
Also, when we try to approach Him with some kind of sin buried in our hearts, I think all He sees is that blemished animal, one certainly not worthy to be presented to a Holy God. He also doesn’t want a disabled offering. Maybe fear is YOUR disability. Unfortunately, whatever it is,it will keep you from being able to offer Him your VERY BEST, your PUREST worship.
But there is an offering, a sacrifice, I believe He truly loves. This is the gift we lay down when we feel we don’t have one single thing left to give! When we have been broken down beyond any human hope of repair, and we offer Him praise…when we sing words of love to Him while our heart is bleeding…I may be wrong, but I think that is God’s personal favorite! When we’ve been painfully refined, over and over, by fire…that person we become has GOT to be one of the purest gifts! And one He would never turn away.
“I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ “
For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.