The Priest God Hates – Part 1
Last week, we ended our series on The Worship God Hates. This week, keeping in line with that same theme, we’re going to start a new series titled The Priest God Hates.
As we have been saying throughout this journey through the book of Malachi, Israel here is presented as a parallel of the church today. The state of Israel spiritually in Malachi’s day was the same state that the church is in today. Gross impropriety at the altar of God, false, corrupt, worship that was not only perpetrated by the people but the priest were in on it as well. The law of the Lord was being broken as sacrifices that were not supposed to be brought were offered as a matter of course and people expected God to receive it by virtue that they were the chosen people. But instead of God setting the rules for worship, the people were dictating them to God through their actions.
What the people had forgotten was that worship is a privilege. God does not need our worship. He is not dependent on it. The fact that He allows us to worship him is a gift among the many other blessings and favors He bestows on the elect, those He has chosen unto salvation.
Worship that is accepted by God is a privilege unique to the Christian (1Pe_2:5). It is not a right. I am permitted to offer acceptable worship only by the grace of God. Therefore it is disheartening when children of God deliberately reject this privilege and wantonly absent themselves from the public assembly God has ordained for His glory and our good.
The kind of worship that was being offered was impure worship. The one common thread that we’ve been seeing throughout the first chapter was that the sacrifices were corrupt and in pure. They were corrupt and impure because the children of Israel didn’t have any other thing to offer. They were corrupt and impure because the children of Israel willingly offered the sacrifices knowing that the loss spoke against such things but expecting God to overlook that because they were the chosen people. Because of that, God longed for them to shut the doors and stop offering impure worship on his altar because impure worship is corrupt, false worship. It is not the worship that God has prescribed and therefore it is not the worship that God will accept (Malachi 1:10).
The spiritual climate at the time was an anything goes attitude. You could vow a vow and not fulfill that vow. But that was okay because you were still doing your religious duty. God would understand why you would not fulfill your vow given the circumstances. The fact of the matter is that once someone made a vow to God they were to keep it at all costs. The words that came out of their mouths were binding and not to fulfill a vow though you were capable of it was wickedness.
The Bible is clear that a Christian should keep their word. The reason for that is because God is the same way. If He says something, He means it and He means to do what He says (Isa_55:11). When we give our word that we will do something and fail to do it, we are being as evil as those who vowed a vow and did not pay before the Lord for every word before the Lord will be taken into account on the day of judgment (Mat_12:36, Mat_5:37). If there is any reason to think before we speak, this would be it.
One of the reasons why the nation of Israel was in such a spiritual state was because their leaders were corrupt. In this, they had been derelict in their duties and God was calling them out. This is the place where we will begin in chapter 2 of Malachi as we start our new series The Priest God Hates.
Join us Sunday at Berean Home Fellowship, 3628 Torrance Dr., Toledo, Ohio 43612. Our tune in right here (https://www.facebook.com/BereanHomeFellowship/) for the live stream beginning between 11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Teaching independence in dependence on God.by