This is the message a that the LORD gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi. b2
"I have loved you deeply," says the LORD.But you retort, "Really? How have you loved us?" And the LORD replies, "I showed my love for you by loving your ancestor Jacob. Yet Esau was Jacob's brother,
and I rejected Esau and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau's inheritance into a desert for jackals."
And Esau's descendants in Edom may say, "We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins." But this is what the LORD Almighty says: "They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again! Their country will be known as 'The Land of Wickedness,' and their people will be called 'The People with Whom the LORD Is Forever Angry.'
When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, 'Truly, the LORD's great power reaches far beyond our borders!'"
The LORD Almighty says to the priests: "A son honors his father, and a servant respects his master. I am your father and master, but where are the honor and respect I deserve? You have despised my name!" But you ask, 'How have we ever despised your name?'
"You have despised my name by offering defiled sacrifices on my altar." Then you ask, 'How have we defiled the sacrifices c ?'" You defile them by saying the altar of the LORD deserves no respect.
When you give blind animals as sacrifices, isn't that wrong? And isn't it wrong to offer animals that are crippled and diseased? Try giving gifts like that to your governor, and see how pleased he is!" says the LORD Almighty.
"Go ahead, beg God to be merciful to you! But when you bring that kind of offering, why should he show you any favor at all?" asks the LORD Almighty.
"I wish that someone among you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not at all pleased with you," says the LORD Almighty, "and I will not accept your offerings.
But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations," says the LORD Almighty.
"But you dishonor my name with your actions. By bringing contemptible food, you are saying it's all right to defile the Lord's table.
You say, 'It's too hard to serve the LORD,' and you turn up your noses at his commands," says the LORD Almighty. "Think of it! Animals that are stolen and mutilated, crippled and sick -- presented as offerings! Should I accept from you such offerings as these?" asks the LORD.
"Cursed is the cheat who promises to give a fine ram from his flock but then sacrifices a defective one to the Lord. For I am a great king," says the LORD Almighty, "and my name is feared among the nations!"
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)