The last book in the Old Testament is a beautiful and fascinating record of Yahweh’s dealings with His people at a specific time. We can learn so much from it. In 47 of the book’s 55 verses, Yahweh is the Speaker. Significantly, the prophet is named ‘Malachi’, which means ‘My messenger’. “Malachi spoke to the hearts of a troubled people whose circumstances of financial insecurity, religious scepticism, and personal disappointments were similar to those often experienced by [Yahweh’s] people today” [Christian Standard Bible, introduction].
The book opens with Yahweh accusing Israel of defiling His name and expressing His disappointment with their behaviour. “I am not pleased with you,” He says, “and I will accept no offering from your hands” [Malachi 1:10]. What a terrible thing to hear! His displeasure arose from the quality of the offerings being presented on His altar [1:6-7]. I find it sobering to know how much my conduct matters, that my attitude and actions can reflect a despising of His most holy name! Yahweh castigated the condition of their offerings which, being stolen, lame or sick [1:13], seriously violated the required standards. He refused to accept them! This was not to do with the monetary value, but their hypocrisy and disinterest. Yahshua watched a widow lady throw a tiny amount into the offering, and immortalised her by saying, “…this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others” [Mark 12:42-44]. The amount was small, but the quality was immense!
Life is busy, expensive, and stressful, so we can easily be tempted to give Yahweh our leftovers; time, money, love, and companionship. We depend on Him during times of crisis. We call and He answers, but what about those everyday times, through the unfolding of the minutiae of life? Are we giving Him leftovers? He wants the best our hearts can offer. He wants to be centre stage of every day, involved in every decision, invited to every occasion, consulted at every crossroad.
When Yahweh sent Yahshua to be the offering for sin, He was the finest, most cherished, irreplaceable love of His heart; He denied us nothing. When we hold that gift in a place of respect and awe we cannot be satisfied with offering leftovers.