Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors (of the temple), that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts… (Malachi 1:10)
The attitude of the people and priests towards God in Malachi’s day was, “Lukewarm is sufficient; half a loaf is better than none.”
God said, “You go through your lukewarm religious activities, but by your attitude and actions you show that you despise me.” (1:6-9)
God said that he wished there was someone to shut the temple doors.
For God, silence is better than blasphemy. Quiet is better than hypocrisy.
They thought they were worshipping God, but they were despising the Lord of Hosts (1:11-12)
Cultural or nominal (in name only) Christianity is a huge challenge in South Africa, and most probably in many other countries.
If you are not Muslim, Jewish or an atheist, you must be a Christian.
Our churches are full of people who consider themselves Christians. However, they are not.
Our pews are full of churchgoers who think they are worshipping. However, in reality, they are despising God’s name by their lukewarm, mediocre, second-rate, unacceptable religious activity.
They honour the CEO of their company more than they honour God.
They are more excited about their hobby, than church.
They are more committed to serving themselves, than God’s people.
God says, “Shut the church doors. Your hypocritical, religious activity means absolutely nothing. I would rather have no worship than false worship. Don’t you realise I am the Great King?”
What would it mean to worship God acceptably?
We treat God as the Great King; worthy of honour, respect, awe and reverent fear.
We feel our own great brokenness, fallenness and sinfulness. We cast ourselves on God’s mercy.
We place our trust in King Jesus, the only pure offering acceptable to God (1:11).
Then we serve Jesus with our entire loaf, not just half.