Joe Stowell writes in today’s devotional in Our Daily Bread:
I was delighted when a mutual friend gave my neighbor a Bible. But my neighbor told me she stopped reading it because she couldn’t understand why God would be so unfair as to reject Cain’s offering. “After all,” she said, “as a farmer, he simply brought to God what he had. Did God expect him to buy a different kind of sacrifice?” Sadly, she had missed the point.
It wasn’t that God didn’t like vegetables. Rather, He knew that Cain’s offering was masking an unrighteous attitude. Cain wasn’t fully committed to God, as expressed by the fact that he wasn’t living according to His ways.
I have been studying Malachi chapter one this week. This chapter has much to say about worship that is acceptable to God. God issues an indictment against the priests when He says to them that they had offered polluted sacrifices, and in doing so, they despised His name. Rather than giving God that which He had clearly spelled out as acceptable (Numbers 28:3), they gave Him that which they would not give to a man to whom honor was due. Malachi pointed out the insult to God when He asks:
And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts. (Malachi 1:8)
Someone said that worship is “Giving God that which pleases Him in the way which pleases Him.” These people were making a show of offering their worship to God, but there was no sincerity in it. For if their worship had acceptable, the offerings they brought would have been acceptable. It seems as though they were giving God their leftovers- that which they wouldn’t use for themselves.
I am looking today at my own worship of the Lord. Am I giving Him my best, or does He get what’s “leftover” of my time, my talent or my treasure? Then in my giving of those things to Him, is it out of obligation, or is it out of honor for the One who gave Himself to make it possible for me to be a member of His own family. As His child, am I honoring my Heavenly Father? That is my obligation as His child.
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? (Malachi 1:6a)