Honoring in Word and Deed

Kevin DeYoung

READ : Malachi 2:1-9

. . . if you will not take it to heart to give honor to my name, says the Lord of hosts, then I will send the curse upon you . . . (v. 2 ESV)

The minor prophets, like Malachi, were the Lord’s prosecuting attorneys. They brought God’s charges against Israel. Malachi here singles out the priests. They performed their sacrifices, but not with the prescribed offerings. They executed judgments, but did so with partiality. They instructed the people, but not according to knowledge. They were “religious professionals” who dodged their commitments (1:7) and grumbled about their service (1:13).

The particulars of their sin, involving obscure levitical laws and animal parts, seem strange to us. But the root problem is all too familiar. These priests tried cutting corners with God. Going through the religious motions does not honor God, neither does a casual commitment to Christ without a real concern for obedience.

Suppose you had a great college professor whom you really liked. Outside the classroom you developed a wonderful relationship. But you didn’t do your homework, study for tests, or hand in papers on time. No matter how warm you felt in your heart toward this teacher or how often you showed up for class, he would not feel honored by you. God is glorified not by mere activity or emotion but by heartfelt obedience to his word.

PRAYER

Lord, make us obedient in thought, word, and deed. Amen.