Tuesday, 9 August 2011

What does God want?

I was a bit worried when Pastor Sarah said we were going to look at Malachi. I’ve never read it and I couldn’t have told you where to find it. Although I am aware of the stories of Exodus and some of the prophesies of the Old Testament, I do tend to disregard it as ‘the old covenant’ with all its dietary rules and an eye for an eye.
In my defence, although my Bible study notes include the Old Testament, in my previous 10 years attending the local Parish C of E church, I don’t remember hearing a Bible talk on the Old Testament.

So, on to Malachi 1.

“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the LORD. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the LORD Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” Malachi

God is telling the priests how unhappy he is with their sacrifices.
They are bringing to God the blind, diseased animals that they don’t want.
The priests are then complaining that they have to tend the defiled table. God says it would be better that they just shut the temple door.

Worse, they are promising God the best of the flock and then keeping it for themselves.

 It says in Samuel ‘to obey is better than sacrifice’.  And in Mark, Jesus commends the man who says “To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."

Sarah went on to say that it is really important that we understand who the God of the Bible is and we don’t pick out the bits we want. I am very comfortable with the father God who provides for us and forgives us. I prefer not to think about giving everything up and taking up my cross. I read a couple of blogs this week that discussed how we can be obedient to all of God’s word and obey Jesus. .

I love to sing the chorus ‘I surrender all’. And I really mean it. Then, as the week goes on, I rush my Bible reading to check out my other emails, I find excuses not to get up for an early prayer meeting, I take a couple of pounds out of my tithe money to buy the Sunday paper. God is not getting the best ram. Sacrifices rather than obedience? This week I am praying for an obedient heart.

To obey is better than sacrifice
I don't need your money
I want your life
And I hear you say that I'm coming back soon
But you act like I'll never return

Well you speak of grace and my love so sweet
How you thrive on milk, but reject My meat
And I can't help weeping of how it will be
If you keep on ignoring My words
Well you pray to prosper and succeed
But your flesh is something I just can't feed
Keith Green

 linking up with Hear it on Sunday

And this is my first attempt at joining in a blog hop - I've enjoyed reading everyone's blogs. Hope you like mine.

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