God’s Great Name: God rejects polluted worship
What’s it all about? Due to a misunderstanding of God’s person (His Immutability) and work (Divine Preservation), Israel’s worship had become polluted. The bankrupt theology being taught by Israel’s priests led the people into worship practices that dishonored God.
So what? Worship that is based on bad theology, selfish preferences, or cultural trends is not pleasing to God. Those who participate in such polluted worship are attempting to approach God on their terms. Worship is to be based on God’s Word, offered on His terms, and conducted in His ways.
1. How were the priests and the people despising God’s name (1:7-9)?
2. Describe how bad theology leads to polluted worship (1:10-12).
3. Describe the negative actions and attitudes that God rebukes (1:10-12)?
4. In what ways did the priests’ worship practices reveal their true theology (13-14)?
Now what? Our worship (private and public) must be shaped by God’s Word and must clearly teach the gospel. What areas or aspects of your worship need to be either rejected or reformed?
“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 my fear? says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests, who despise my name. But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ 7 By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the LORD’s table may be despised. 8 When you offer blind animals in sacrifice, is that not evil? And when you offer those that are lame or sick, is that not evil? Present that to your governor; will he accept you or show you favor? says the LORD of hosts. 9 And now entreat the favor of God, that he may be gracious to us. With such a gift from your hand, will he show favor to any of you? says the LORD of hosts. 10 Oh that there were one among you who would shut the doors, that you might not kindle fire on my altar in vain! I have no pleasure in you, says the LORD of hosts, and I will not accept an offering from your hand. 11 For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts. 12 But you profane it when you say that the LORD’s table is polluted, and its fruit, that is, its food may be despised. 13 But you say, ‘What a weariness this is,’ and you snort at it, says the LORD of hosts. You bring what has been taken by violence or is lame or sick, and this you bring as your offering! Shall I accept that from your hand? says the LORD. 14 Cursed be the cheat who has a male in his flock, and vows it, and yet sacrifices to the LORD what is blemished. For I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations. (Malachi 1:6-14 ESV)
Individual Study Questions
Scripture: Colossians 3:15-17; 1 Timothy 4:13; 2 Timothy 4:1-5 (full scriptural citations below)
1. How should we select music for our worship gatherings (Colossians 3:15-17)?
2. How can we learn the gospel through songs (Colossians 3:15-17)?
3. Why is it important to read, recite, and teach Scripture in public worship (1 Timothy 4:13)? Explain the importance of each aspect of worship.
4. Describe the importance of preaching God’s Word in public worship (2 Timothy 4:1-5).
5. What are some reasons people give for rejecting expositional (verse-by-verse) preaching and teaching (2 Timothy 4:1-5)?
6. What are some ways that you can be better prepared to teach God’s Word to your family, friends, classmate, and co-workers?
Colossians 3:15-17: And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
1 Timothy 4:13: Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching.
2 Timothy 4:1-5: I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. 5 As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.