And if you offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?…
In Malachi's time the people seem to have been utterly indifferent as to God, and openly insolent. "Behold," said they, "what a weariness it is!" They thought any thing was good enough for God, and offered Him the refuse of their households. Even the priests had become a set of mercenary hirelings, refusing to do anything without reward. This state of things was a result of living so long in the idolatrous land of Babylon. The people had lost their habits of devotion, and had become accustomed to a life of listlessness and carelessness, and now they found it difficult to submit to the restraints of religion. And these of ours are worldly days. The general idea is that anything is good enough for God. A spare minute, an hour, when we can do nothing else, is all we can devote to God. Notice —
I. THE CHRISTIAN SACRIFICE. Times have changed, but circumstances have not. God does not demand expiatory sacrifice, but He requires spiritual. We are to render Him certain services, and these services are the New Testament sacrifices.
1. There is the heart — penitent, repentant, soft.
2. There is the body — a living sacrifice; for use, for work.
II. THE IMPERFECTIONS BY WHICH THESE SERVICES ARE BLEMISHED.
1. Spiritless worship. The form without the spirit.
2. Blind sacrifice. How many crimes have been committed in the name of zeal.
3. Lame offerings. Professors of religion who live in conformity to the world.
4. Sick gifts.Half-hearted prayers, languid attendance at His house, the hand working without the heart, songs without melody. There are preachers who preach ill and sickly sermons. There are Sunday school teachers who offer sickly lessons. It is a terrible thing to offer to God that which is diseased.
(W. R. F.)
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: When you offer the blind for sacrifice, isn't that evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, isn't that evil? Present it now to your governor! Will he be pleased with you? Or will he accept your person?" says Yahweh of Armies.