I Like Leftovers…God Not So Much
I like leftovers. In fact, there are some foods that I prefer to eat as leftovers such as lasagne. I believe that most of you who are reading this like leftovers. There is something great about getting to taste the same food without having to prepare it. But God doesn’t like leftovers. God likes the “best” of what we have to offer. In the last book of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi, the prophet Malachi speaks for God in essentially saying to the people of Israel, “I don’t like leftovers”. In the sacrificial system, God’s people were asked to bring animals to sacrifice for their sin. Though they didn’t know it, Old Testament followers of God were looking ahead to the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Since Jesus was a perfect sacrifice for sin, God required that animals offered for sacrifice needed to be “perfect” as well. People couldn’t bring in a lame or sick lamb for sacrifice. The idea is that since God offered His best for our sin, we should offer our best for our sin. Apparently, that wasn’t happening in Malachi’s day. In an indictment of the people, God says this through the prophet Malachi: “You offer defiled food on My altar, But say, ‘In what way have we defiled You?’ By saying, ‘The table of the Lord is contemptible.’ 8 And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, Is it not evil? And when you offer the lame and sick, Is it not evil? Offer it then to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you favorably?” Says the Lord of hosts.
The people were giving God the leftovers…that which had little value to them. God would not receive it. God even reminds them that they would not prepare a sick or lame animal for food if they were having a special guest like the governor. Rather, they would use the best for such an important person. We can pretty easily apply this to our lives today. What are you willing to “offer God” in terms of your service for Him? Does He get the first part of your time and your resources or does He get the leftovers? God knows that when we offer Him our best, it is best for us as well. Offering God our best is the best for us as well. I can’t tell you whether you are offering leftovers to God but if you’ve read this far, you probably already know those areas where God is getting the leftovers. Ask His forgiveness and give Him the best….and if you have any leftover lasagne in the fridge, I’ll take that!