Our Worship of GodBro. David Chancellor
8/29/1999 11:00 AM
Malachi was among the last prophets before Christ. His thought is worth considering. Are we honoring God? Are we truly worshipping him? If you are going to worship and honor God it will be determined by your actions. You can say "Praise the Lord" and "Amen", but are you praising, honoring and lifting up God by your actions. These people had a religious form, but they weren't honoring God. They were bringing God things that were second rate - the sick, blind, diseased, and lame. God didn't consider that an honor. That is not worship. Giving God that which is second rate presumes God doesn't know that it is such, but he DOES know it. If we give God less than our best, that is not worship. God has to be first to be worshipped in an acceptable fashion. We have to give him the best - to make him first priority with us. We need to offer God that which we feel he'll REALLY like. How can people feel that God will be pleased when they offer him the opposite of what he says he likes. God isn't impressed by our means. There are a lot of people into religion today for the money. "The Lord gave me this ministry and I'll be monetarily profited by it." "Pay me, and I'll put a log on the fire." We need to worship God and honor him simply to be doing it for God, regardless of pay or what others think. God would challenge us - are we really honoring him or are we just happy to be religious. The heathen of that day had a greater honor and respect for the God of the Israelites than the Israelites did. The heathen had seen how God worked, and knew what he could do. There was no reverence or respect for God in the service of the Israelites at this time. We should have a real reverence for God. Worship for God goes beyond giving a little regard to his name. The majority of religion makes a mockery of God, but he sees and knows what is going on. These were bringing God's name down to the level of all the idolatry around them. Today it profanes the name of God when we treat lightly what he has to say. We come before God to present ourselves and the question should be "Will God accept this?" Are we giving God the best we have? or are we giving something that not even those in authority would see as acceptable? It's a mockery to act like God doesn't see, know or understand. God's name should be great among those that claim to be his.
This is addressed to the priests, the ones who were supposed to have been the example for the people. God might come and say, "Preachers, this is for YOU!!!" (though all can still benefit from it) If we don't take God's word to heart, God's glory will not be there. Our worship requires that we take the word of God seriously. His word is settled, whether we believe it or not. If we would see God work, we need to take his word in all seriousness. The priests were under the covenant of Levi. They were religious leaders and were supposed to focus on the work of the Lord. "My covenant with Levi was of life and peace and I gave them to him for the fear he had toward me..." We DO need to have a fear of God. Some people don't fear God that fear man. God is greater and more powerful than man. we need to fear God in the same way Levi did. There was a reason why the house of Levi was chosen to be the priests. We need to recognize if God's glory, blessing and honor rested upon a people there was a reason. If we draw close to God and live right we can have it as they did. These were the descendants of Levi, the followers of him and they left off following and honoring what Levi did. Many churches today do the same thing - honor the leader rather than God. Success comes from honoring God. If we honor God we can have life and peace. The things that were done by people in any time were because they were doing what they felt was pleasing to God. We could do something because someone else did, but are we doing it because we fear God? People are willing to line up to all sorts of things without fear, respect or even thought of God. These, instead of turning people from iniquity, were making people to stumble at the law. People have held to many things, not out of a fear of God, but "what can I do to be accepted by this group of people?" We need to consider what is acceptable before God. We can't apply God's word however we want to, but need to get what God said and how he meant it. Paul told Timothy - "Preach THE word"... not "Preach [from, about, with, etc.] the word". Christ told the Pharisees that they weren't teaching "Thus sayeth the Lord"... but things that they had added to it... or traditions. We want to study the word and get the word just like God said it. If the translators didn't get it just right we want to cut through all that and get what God has to say. We want to hear what GOD has to say and apply it that way.
Give the Lord glory and strength. Are we recognizing the power of God? or do we make light of it? Worship God THROUGH holiness. Worship doesn't take place in an unholy heart. We need to do what he says. We need to be in line with what he would have. We need to hear what God has to say.
"Ye have wearied the Lord with your words..." The 'sin-more-or-less' religion is described by the following portion of this scripture... "Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord." God is not delighted by this religion. God does not love a sinful life. People can talk about angels and all the wonderful things that "God" did for them, but if they are not living a holy life what they are really saying is "there is no God of judgment." God does not delight in those that do evil. He would save them and clean them up, but as long as they do evil he is not delighted. Many people have religion but they have departed from trying to please God. He will pronounce judgment on those that don't live right. There IS a God of judgment. The question we should ask ourselves in all that we do is, "Would I like to meet God here? IS God here?" WE don't know what we'll meet up with in life, but we need to be able to take God with us in whatever we do. WE need to think about where we go and what we do. If we have a reverence for God, he can adjust our thinking and living. We should have reverence and respect toward God that we can stand before him and hear "well done".
He's talking about Christ. "Christ is coming, and but who can take it?" Christ told the people... "God says [this] and God says [that]..." He was honoring God. He came to do some cleaning up. He came to call men to repentance and salvation. We want to reverence God. Our life, actions, and reverence toward God are our worship. It is in the submitted and committed life that God is worshipped. Any other way is unacceptable. Any other way doesn't bring glory and honor to God.