“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am a Father, where is My honor? And if I am a Master, where is the [reverent] fear due Me? says the Lord of hosts to you, O priests, who despise My name. You say, How and in what way have we despised Your name? 7 By offering polluted food upon My altar. And you ask, How have we polluted it and profaned You? By thinking that the table of the Lord is contemptible and may be despised. 8 When you [priests] offer blind [animals] for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil? Present such a thing [a blind or lame or sick animal] now to your governor [in payment of your taxes, and see what will happen]. Will he be pleased with you? Or will he receive you graciously? says the Lord of hosts. 9 Now then, I [Malachi] beg [you priests], entreat God [earnestly] that He will be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand [as a defective animal for sacrifice], will He accept it or show favor to any of you? says the Lord of hosts. 10 Oh, that there were even one among you [whose duty it is to minister to Me] who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on My altar to no purpose [an empty, futile, fruitless pretense]! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of hosts, nor will I accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting My name shall be great among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered to My name, and indeed a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations, says the Lord of hosts. 12 But you [priests] profane it when [by your actions] you say, The table of the Lord is polluted, and the fruit of it, its food, is contemptible and may be despised. 13 You say also, Behold, what a drudgery and weariness this is! And you have sniffed at it, says the Lord of hosts. And you have brought that which was taken by violence, or the lame or the sick; this you bring as an offering! Shall I accept this from your hand? says the Lord. 14 But cursed is the [cheating] deceiver who has a male in his flock and vows to offer it, yet sacrifices to the [sovereign] Lord a blemished or diseased thing! For I am a great King, says the Lord of hosts, and My name is terrible and to be [reverently] feared among the nations. Malachi 1:6-14 AMP
There is an honor that is due from a servant to a master and from a son to a father. A servant who does not honor his master and a son who does not honor his father despise and abuse the relationship and cut off their avenue of blessing. Honor, where honor is due, goes hand in hand with blessing. You show honor toward God by your offering or dishonor toward Him by your lack thereof.
By bringing no offering, you demonstrate that you do not honor the Lord. If you bring an offering, but it is your dregs and scraps – the blind, the lame and the sick – then you openly dishonor your Heavenly Father. You think that He does not see or know, but He does – your offering rises up to Him either as a sweet smelling savor or a terrible stink – depending on the quality of the offering and the attitude in which you offer it. The two things that matter every time you give an offering are your attitude and the measure or quality of your offering.
But who am I, and what are my people, that we should retain strength and be able to offer thus so willingly? For all things come from You, and out of Your own [hand] we have given You. 1 Chronicles 29:14 AMP
Everything you have is God’s and it belongs to Him. He graciously allows you to partake of it. He even shares what is His with the unjust – He rains on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45).
Cain did not bring an acceptable offering – God did not receive his offering – because he did not bring his first or his best (Genesis 4:3-8). Abel brought the first and the best and his offering was acceptable to the Lord. If God does not accept your offering – then there is no blessing for you – there is no harvest and no return. Cain got mad at Abel and murdered him, but what he should have done was to repent, obey God and bring an offering that was acceptable to the Lord. Abel wasn’t Cain’s problem – Cain’s disrespectful attitude was his problem.
Be honest with the Lord in all your dealings – particularly your offerings – because He knows your thoughts and the intents and purposes of your heart. If your attitude is wrong – He knows it. If your offering is second-rate – He knows it. If you want Him to accept your offering and to bless it – then you must bring Him that which is acceptable to Him. Do not try to slip a polluted offering past Him and then get mad when He does not receive it – change your attitude and do what is right so that all of God’s blessings may come your way.