In this passage, we see one of the main problems that the Jews had, and it filtered down to everything that they did.
What was their problem? They failed to honor God. They treated him as something less than the great God and King that he is.
And so God said,
A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me? (6)
And of all people, the priests said, “What are you talking about? How are we not showing you honor? How are we showing contempt for your name?”
They were probably thinking, “Hey we’re doing our job. We’re offering the sacrifices. We’re doing what we’re supposed to. What more do you want?”
But God said,
When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you? (8)
In the laws God gave to Moses, he demanded that the people sacrifice perfect animals. Yet, the people had such little respect for God, that they gave him all the animals they didn’t want, the lame and diseased animals.
So God said, “You show more honor to your governor than you do to me, your King. Your governor wouldn’t accept less than the best. Why do you think I would?”
More than that, the people were saying,
‘The Lord’s table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible…What a burden!’ (12-13)
The people weren’t offering these things out of their love for God. Rather, it had become a burden to them. And so instead of honoring God, they showed contempt for him through their actions.
But God told them,
I am a great king…and my name is to be feared among the nations. (14)
How about you? How do you see God? I think there’s a balance that we need to remember in our relationship with God.
Jesus says that he calls us friends. Many people embrace that, and they should. It’s a rare privilege we have to be friends with the King.
But at the same time, we do need to remember that he is the King. And as King, he deserves our honor. And that means giving him our very best, not our leftovers. I’m not just talking about money. But also about our time. And our very lives.
What are you giving God? Do you give him the honor he deserves?