The prophet Malachi wrote approximately a century after Israel had returned from Babylonian captivity and rebuilt both Jerusalem and the temple. Although there’d been a revival under Nehemiah, by this point the nation had lost its zeal and drifted into mechanical worship.
Instead of offering unblemished animals on the altar as prescribed in the Law, they were bringing God the leftovers of their flocks—the sick, blind, and lame. The people and the priests had become so lax in their worship that they didn’t recognize anything was wrong with these unacceptable practices. Because they had neglected and dishonored the Lord for so long, they no longer knew who He was. As a result, they were not giving Him the reverence He deserved.
Although our form of worship no longer consists of animal sacrifices, we may be guilty of the same sin: giving God the leftovers. Like the priests in Malachi 1:13 who considered worship tiresome, we might think, There are so many other things we could do if we didn’t have to go to church every Sunday morning.
But worship isn’t limited to one day out of seven. It should be expressed all week in our devotion to Christ. If we make other activities the priorities in our life, we won’t give God our best. Filling our calendars to overflowing leaves little time or energy for praying, reading the Word, or serving the Lord in some way. Yet these are the activities that enrich our relationship with God—they inspire us to worship and honor the Lord by giving Him our best.
Bible in One Year: John 12-13