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Giving God the Leftovers

INTRODUCTION: Even in the Old Testament, much of the relationship between God and His people was based on love. God definitely loved them and they were expected to respond to Him in like kind. Yet, as today, when they began to waver from the Lord, God started getting their second-best. They gave Him the leftovers.

This can be seen even in human relationships. In a state of active love, no sacrifice is too great if it brings good to the loved one. We give them the best of our time, efforts and commitments. However, as the love fails, we begin to take the loved one for granted and give them only the leftovers of our love.

  1. THE LEFTOVERS OF THEIR LOVE (Malachi 1:1-5)
    1. The burden of the word (Malachi 1:1); the message Malachi has for the Israelites is a heavy burden. It is sad truth that must be told and they must be confronted.
    2. Their doubt of Gods love (Malachi 1:2; compare Malachi 3:13-14)
      1. God proclaims His love I have loved you.
      2. God proves His love He chose them (Deuteronomy 7:6-8).
        1. Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.
        2. Deuteronomy 7:7 The LORD did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:
        3. Deuteronomy 7:8 But because the LORD loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the LORD brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.
    3. God chose Jacob over Esau (Malachi 1:3-4); the proof of Gods love to Israel is built on a solid, historical foundation.
      1. Determined before birth, but according to foreknowledge
      2. Concerned earthly blessings, not eternal salvation
      3. National in scope, not just personal
        1. Esaus mountains laid waste (Malachi 1:3)
        2. Edoms determination to no avail (Malachi 1:4)
        3. The heritage of Esau (Malachi 1:4)
          1. The border of wickedness
          2. The people hated by God
    4. Gods love for Israel (Malachi 1:5)
      1. To bring blessing on Israel
      2. To be magnified in Israel
        1. 1 Chronicles 17:24 Let it even be established, that thy name may be magnified for ever, saying, The LORD of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel: and let the house of David thy servant be established before thee.
        2. Gods love to Israel is based on an absolute commitment to the future.
    1. Despising the name of the Lord (Malachi 1:6)
      1. The honor a son gives to his father
      2. The fear a servant gives to his master
      3. Compare: the respect loved ones give to one another
        1. Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
    2. Despising the altar of the Lord (Malachi 1:7-8; Deuteronomy 15:21 And if there be any blemish therein, as if it be lame, or blind, or have any ill blemish, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.)
      1. By their contempt for the place of sacrifice (Malachi 1:7)
      2. By their choice of a faulty sacrifice (Malachi 1:8)
      3. The greater the love, the greater the willingness to sacrifice
        1. Genesis 4:4 And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:
        2. 2 Samuel 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
        3. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
  3. THE LEFTOVERS OF THEIR TIME (Malachi 1:9-11)
    1. Needing to seek Gods grace (Malachi 1:9); they have pushed the limits of Gods patience and need to seek His grace.
    2. Doing nothing for nought (Malachi 1:10); they will not give of their time to the Lord unless someone pays them.  (Jeremiah 6:13)  (Philippians 2:21)
      1. Would not shut the doors without pay
      2. Would not kindle the fire on the altar
      3. Will be rejected by the Lord
        1. He will have no pleasure in them.
        2. He will not accept their offering.
    3. Refusing to serve the great God (Malachi 1:11)
      1. His name to be great among the Gentiles
      2. The great God to receive offerings of the Gentiles
      3. The point is that even the Gentiles will serve the Lord; what a shame that Gods own chosen people refuse to fully serve Him.
    1. Weary in their service (Malachi 1:12-13)
      1. Treating Gods worship with contempt (Malachi 1:12); treating the very special things of God as if they were low, dirty things. By application, this would be like treating that which is special and dear to a loved one as something cheap and without value.
      2. Complaining of any effort given (Malachi 1:13a)
        1. Behold, what a weariness is it!
        2. Ye have snuffed at it they make light of anything dedicated to the service of God.
      3. Bringing their least to God (Malachi 1:13b)
        1. The torn
        2. The lame
        3. The sick
        4. The unacceptable to God
    2. Deceptive in their service (Malachi 1:14)
      1. Rejecting the great King
      2. Ignoring the dreadful name of God
      3. Jeremiah 48:10 Cursed be he that doeth the work of the LORD deceitfully, and cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood.

CONCLUSION: How healthy is your love to the Lord? How healthy is your love to your loved one? Have you been giving leftovers when they deserve the best? Are you ready to repent of your sins and love as you have been loved by God?