Malachi 1:8-14

Malachi 1:8 (KJB)

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.


According to the Law of Moses that sacrifices brought to the temple would have to be free of blemishes.  Leviticus 22:21 (KJV) And whosoever offereth a sacrifice of peace offerings unto the LORD to accomplish his vow, or a freewill offering in beeves or sheep, it shall be perfect to be accepted; there shall be no blemish therein.  If the animal could not see then it would not pass the test for a proper sacrifice.  Then they tried to offer sacrifices which were lame and sick and that would also be a violation of the Law of Moses as found in Leviticus.  Leviticus 22:22 (KJV) Blind, or broken, or maimed, or having a wen, or scurvy, or scabbed, ye shall not offer these unto the LORD, nor make an offering by fire of them upon the altar unto the LORD.  What these people were doing was keeping the best for themselves so they could sell them at a higher price so they were giving the worst of their flocks for sacrifices.


Their intent was evil as God points out to them because they knew the law and the priests themselves knew the law and should not have accepted a blemished sacrifice.  Then God makes a good point and that is would these people bring a blemished gift to the Governor or leader of their country?  The answer would be no because they would makes sure they had a good gift because hopefully it would garner them favor insight of the Governor.  It seems there would have been more fear of a human authority than God.  It is like many pastors today who stand in front of their congregations looking like they just dragged themselves out of a pit of slime.  They would show up in court in a jacket and tie but for the Lord they dress like slobs.  Leviticus 19:30 (KJV) Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD.  The LORD expected his priests to reverence his sanctuary and that is also what today’s pastors should do. 


Malachi 1:9 (KJB)

And now, I pray you, beseech God that he will be gracious unto us: this hath been by your means: will he regard your persons? saith the LORD of hosts.


Now it seems that Malachi is using a bit of sarcasm here by telling them to beseech God and maybe he will be gracious unto them.  Since they have been trying to appease God by thinking they could get away with cheap sacrifices, Malachi is basically asking them if God would be gracious unto them.  The answer is no because they had tried to get away with bringing as cheap a sacrifice they could bring.  Did they think that God would accept their blemished sacrifices and then shower them with blessings?  The reason that the animal sacrifices had to be perfect was because they looked forward to the Lord Jesus Christ who would be the final and complete sacrifice for sin.  A blemished animal would be likened to a sacrifice that had sin in it and that would not have been a true foreshadow of the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is the same today.  Many Christians only tithe and once they reach that point they stop giving.  What if God stopped giving us his blessings at a certain point and never went beyond it?  We would all be in trouble. 


Malachi 1:10 (KJB)

Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.


Since the worship of God was in such disarray and there was no attempt to bring it back in line with the Mosaic Law, then it would be better if the doors were shut and locked and no more blemished sacrifices were offered.  This would also keep the priests out who accepted the false and blemished sacrifices.  The LORD made his case in that he was not pleased with their attitudes and sacrifices and therefore would not accept any offerings at their hands.  This is also a warning to the modern church.  Those churches that teach a false gospel, both charismatic and non-charismatic, would do better to close their doors than to continue teaching false gospels and damming people to hell. God does not accept the teachings of a false gospel nor does he accept the usage of false Bible versions which only lead people astray.  Those churches that continue to teach a false gospel will be under the condemnation of God and the leaders will give account on Judgment Day.


Malachi 1:11 (KJB)

For from the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.


Here we see a prophecy of the future when the true gospel will go forth all over the world and every day, all day the name of the Lord will be praised by those whom he has saved.  At present there is no country in the world where the true gospel is not taught even in countries which have banned Christianity.  In fact, the more hostile the governments become toward Christianity, the more it increases.  One just has to look at countries like China and Iran where Christianity is growing by leaps and bounds.  Then he states that in every place there will be incense offered in God’s name.  Revelation 8:3-4 (KJV) And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.  {4} And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.  Here we read in Revelation 8:3-4 that the incense being offered will be mingled with the prayers of the Saints.  It is a symbol that the prayers to God are as pleasing as the aroma of incense.  Then it speaks of a pure offering which looks forward to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Christians will bring their petitions before the Lord with a pure offering.  John 14:13 (KJV) And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  The pure offering will be the sinless Son of God on Calvary and that is why the animal sacrifices in the Old Testament had to be perfect.  Then as Christianity spreads throughout the earth, the Son will receive glory and the Father will receive glory through His Son. 


Malachi 1:12 (KJB)

But ye have profaned it, in that ye say, The table of the LORD is polluted; and the fruit thereof, even his meat, is contemptible.


The word “profane” carries with it the meaning of “defiling, irreverent, disrespectful, or wicked.”  This is how they treated the worship of the Lord as they turned it into nothing but a common ritual without meaning.  Instead of the priests setting the people right, they instead went along with the defilement under the delusion that God would accept their corrupted sacrifices.  They were the ones who were desecrating the Lord’s Table and then had the audacity to call it polluted.  They treated it as unholy and therefore it became polluted with their blemished sacrifices.  The fruit and meat were also despised.  This could be pointing to the portion which the priests were given for their food and because the sacrifices were blemished, their portion of food would not have been up to proper standards and was considered contemptible which carries with it the meaning of “despised, detestable, or loathsome.”


Malachi 1:13 (KJB)

Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD.


The people and the priests had complained about the sacrifices and the offering of them.  They claimed it was a weariness which means “drudgery or hardship” to observe every nuance of the law and therefore they snuffed at it.  The word “snuffed” carries with it the meaning of “breathing hard” as in a great sigh accompanying their belief that the keeping of the law was only a nuisance.  Then the LORD once again reiterates his abhorrence of their sacrifices which were seriously blemished in many cases.  Some may have been torn by wild animals and had limbs missing or open wounds, and some were sick of diseases like murrain.  They knew they could never sell those animals at a profit so instead they brought them to the temple for sacrifices.  Then the Lord states with those actions and attitudes which are against the Law he gave at Sinai, should he accept those kind of marred sacrifices which they offered thinking that they could get away with breaking the Law of God.  2 Timothy 3:13 (KJV) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.  People always think that they can get away with giving God the worst of everything and thinking they are deceiving an omniscient God and then expecting a blessing for it.  It is the height of pride and arrogance.


Malachi 1:14 (KJB)

But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.


There is a curse upon those who think they can deceive God.  If they have a male in their flock which is blemish free and fits the description of a proper sacrifice and then brings to the temple an offering with blemishes, then they are cursed.  A vow was a promise made to God in which a man dedicated himself, his service, or something of value.  A vow was not mandatory since it was voluntary but it was regulated very carefully.  Deuteronomy 23:21 (KJV) When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.  If a person would not be able to fulfill their vow, then it is better for them if they do not vow at all.  Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 (KJV) When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed.  {5} Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.  Then when it came to sacrificing, both the people and the priests here are charged with disregarding the basic requirements in fulfilling the laws of sacrifices.  When they brought blemished sacrifices, they were in essence disrespecting God Himself.  They forgot that God is a great King and they were to approach him with the same reverence they would approach an earthly king but the fact that God is King of Kings.  His name is dreadful among the heathen.  The word “dreadful” carries with it the meaning of “fear or awesome.”  This can be attested to because God destroyed Egypt, Assyria, the Babylonians, and the Edomites and many smaller groups like the Amorites and Philistines.  They knew the power of God and how major empires were destroyed by him and that is why it seems the heathen fears God more than Israel does in the way they act toward him.