"Isn't it true that a son honors his father and a worker his master? So if I'm your Father, where's the honor? If I'm your Master, where's the respect?" God-of-the-Angel-Armies is calling you on the carpet: "You priests despise me! "You say, 'Not so! How do we despise you?' "By your shoddy, sloppy, defiling worship. "You ask, 'What do you mean, "defiling"? What's defiling about it?'
"When you say, 'The altar of God is not important anymore; worship of God is no longer a priority,' that's defiling.
And when you offer worthless animals for sacrifices in worship, animals that you're trying to get rid of - blind and sick and crippled animals - isn't that defiling? Try a trick like that with your banker or your senator - how far do you think it will get you?" God-of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.
"Get on your knees and pray that I will be gracious to you. You priests have gotten everyone in trouble. With this kind of conduct, do you think I'll pay attention to you?" God-of-the-Angel-Armies asks you.
"Why doesn't one of you just shut the Temple doors and lock them? Then none of you can get in and play at religion with this silly, empty-headed worship. I am not pleased. The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is not pleased. And I don't want any more of this so-called worship! Offering God Something Hand-Me-Down, Broken, or Useless
"I am honored all over the world. And there are people who know how to worship me all over the world, who honor me by bringing their best to me. They're saying it everywhere: 'God is greater, this God-of-the-Angel-Armies.'
"All except you. Instead of honoring me, you profane me. You profane me when you say, 'Worship is not important, and what we bring to worship is of no account,'
and when you say, 'I'm bored - this doesn't do anything for me.' You act so superior, sticking your noses in the air - act superior to me, God-of-the-Angel-Armies! And when you do offer something to me, it's a hand-me-down, or broken, or useless. Do you think I'm going to accept it? This is God speaking to you!
"A curse on the person who makes a big show of doing something great for me - an expensive sacrifice, say - and then at the last minute brings in something puny and worthless! I'm a great king, God-of-the-Angel-Armies, honored far and wide, and I'll not put up with it!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)