40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 19 – Worship

11 Comments

“Oh, that one of you would shut the temple doors, so that you would not light useless fires on my altar!  I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord Almighty, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.  My name will be great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets.  In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to me, because my name will be great among the nations,” says the Lord Almighty.

“But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible.’ And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord.  “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord.  For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations. (Malachi 1:10-14)

 

It is hard to believe that something as beautiful as worshipping God can be distorted, but it can be.  Even as we view this Discipline through the lens of love, it is probably beneficial to consider what can happen when our motivation isn’t “right”.  The passage above from the book of Malachi demonstrates that God does care about authentic worship.  Are there lessons we can learn from this passage about our attitude towards worship?  Please prayerfully read the passage and answer the questions for today?

Today’s Questions for comments:

  • How would you summarize what made God angry with the people he chastises in Malachi 1?
  • What lessons do we derive about our attitude towards worship?

Make this entire week a special week of worship (recognizing God’s worth).

11 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 19 – Worship

  1. How would you summarize what made God angry with the people he chastises in Malachi 1?
    What lessons do we derive about our attitude towards worship?

    In this chapter God says, “I am a great king,” which I think really focused this reading for me. I would be embarrassed/ashamed to give a friend a damaged gift let alone offer a mediocre gift to a king. God gets angry with the people in Malachi 1 because they’ve forgotten (or taken lightly) who exactly they’re offering gifts to. As for my attitude towards worship, sometimes I have to remind myself of the same thing; I’m not doing God any favors by worshiping Him -He was a “great king” before I was put on this earth, and will remain the same forever. It’s up to me to show this “great king” respect and genuineness in all that I do, including worship.

  2. Why God’s anger?
    Finding a convenient way to meet the ‘requirements’ clearly misses the mark of authentic worship for God, and can only mean ‘burden’ for the ‘worshipper’. ‘Requirements’ = burden. Desire = worship.

    I may not always desire the act of worship, and I think that’s ok (it’s where ‘discipline’ comes in), but I should always desire the ‘object’ of my worship, for it to be authentic. Right motives = focused on Him = worship. Focus anywhere else (convenience, ‘me’, act of, requirements…) = wrong motives = not worship at all, and how could it be; where would the ‘ascribing of worth’ be if the focus on the object of our worship is lacking?
    Lessons? “I’m coming back to the heart of worship, ’cause it’s all about you, it’s all about you Jesus.” Nothing else can be added; anything else only subtracts.

  3. Deuteronomy 10:12-13 The Essence of the Law “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good? Psalm 51:16-18 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart. These, O God, You will not despise.

    God loves me so much!!!!!! He knows my ways and my heart and has taken the time to instruct me carefully for my own good. The passage in Malachi reflects irreverence and a total lack of fear before Almighty God. I believe this is what made God angry. The lessons for me about my attitude toward worship go back to the theme of a broken and contrite spirit and the widow that gave the two mites out of her poverty, which Jesus acknowledged as putting in more than all.

  4. As much as God accepts us with all our flaws, and offers us living water that leads to eternal life, yet he will not accept a half hearted attitude. He will not accept less than the very best. He would rather have our broken and contrite heart or nothing at all. How dare I bring to an impure heart to a pure and holy King!

  5. How would you summarize what made God angry with the people he chastises in Malachi 1?
    God deserves the best and is very clear that he is to be treated as # 1 in our lives. When we give Him or treat Him with anything less than he deserves it angers Him because it means that our best is being given or directed at someone (usually ourselves) or something else, thereby making that person/thing our god. What makes God even angrier is when we do the above while seeking to give everyone, and Him, the impression that, we are giving Him, or has given Him our best.

    What lessons do we derive about our attitude towards worship?
    It must be genuine. I need to give God my best. Thank God for his grace and mercy.

  6. How would you summarize what made God angry with the people he chastises in Malachi 1?
    People have summarised it well in the above responses – God was angry because people gave mediocre gifts, or said they would offer a good, acceptable gift but instead offered something less than that.

    What lessons do we derive about our attitude towards worship?
    I think that this is a really important analogy. Just last night I was reading about God referencing Cain’s offering (vs. Abel’s) and why he did not consider it to be better. Although you give something that is by comparison great, God is really not interested in comparing you to others. If he doesn’t do it when He offers us all grace, why should He do it when He accepts our sacrifice of praise? Thank God He doesn’t judge us by comparison to others! We might not make it to heaven then. God is specifically interested in each person’s heart and in the spirit which each offering is given. If we offer our worship to God as a duty, as a box to be checked then God is giving us the heads up that He is not moved by that. In other words, if you’re doing this to please God then you need to do it right. Otherwise, you’ve done all that for nothing, or for whatever recognition you get from other humans. I think about the equivalent in my own life – what is my version of an injured sacrifice? Distracted praying, checking my emails in the middle of my time with God, not tithing properly, not reading my bible regularly, etc. Gosh, there are many! I think the main message is to remind ourselves that God isn’t happy with our rejects, with whatever we have left or that isn’t hard to give up. Like David said “Neither will I offer burnt-offerings unto Jehovah my God which cost me nothing.”

  7. The reason God is upset is because of the lack of effort and care the people take in worshipping Him. By giving such inadequate gifts, they are showing that God is of little priority to them. This passage reminds us that we should worship whole-heartedly, not begrudgingly, and to give the Lord our full effort in the way we praise Him. God has given us so much, and even our finest gifts are small compared to what He has blessed us with, that we should be willing to give Him the best we can offer as a sign of our love and thankfulness.

  8. GOD was angry because the people were being selfish and stingy. They probably were satisfied with their sacrifices telling themselves they had done good, but it had nothing to do with GOD – it was all a show – a box ticking exercise and perhaps a way of impressing others,. They had deceived themselves. But GOD cannot be deceived. HE sees the heart.

    The scripture above seems appalling but this is what GOD deals with continually – what with the calculating nature of humans who hold back and keep score. Thank GOD HE does not treat us the way we treat HIM and others!

    The lesson here is that worship has to come from the right place – a heart attitude is the only right attidue towards worship. A heart attitude starts with loving GOD with your all might, strength and will, and second, submission … a realisation that you can do nothing apart from HIM.

  9. God was angry because people were contented in giving less than the best of what they can offer. Clearly the issue was that God did is not deserving of the best.

    The main lesson is that God expects us to use wholeheartedly what we are blessed with. It is not based on comparison with other persons, but from our effort. A good lesson is the “Widow’s mite” cited in Mark 12: 41-44. The widow gave all that she had, small in comparison to others BUT worth much more. The main point illustrated is that quantity cannot be equated to quality, the reverse is also true.

  10. How would you summarize what made God angry with the people he chastises in Malachi 1? They had lost sight of the meaning of worship and made it just another thing. They forgot the magnitude and greatness of the God they were to worship.
    What lessons do we derive about our attitude towards worship?
    The section on saying you are going to bring your best and then replacing with something else. I am, we are, the offering. The best we can bring is ourself covered/washed in the blood of our Savior but somewhere between the front door of our home (heart) and the front of church(worship) we switch it out to something else. That something else is reverting back to trusting in ourself, worrying, wanting to be convenienced, being jealous of others – a less than Christlike, Christ center version of ourself.

  11. Your powerful comments sure have me thinking. Trying to trick an all knowing God does sound like an oxymoron doesn’t it. In fact, you could argue that it basically says that we don’t believe He is God, or we don’t care. That sounds so far removed from love and worship. I hear God loud and clear, “I am a great king”, and considering how many times I “forget”, I am thankful for His mercy and inspired to do better.

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