“‘But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?’ says the Lord of hosts.” (1:8)
Sometimes we can treat the LORD like our imaginary friend. When we do this (which can be easy to do, since we can’t physically see Him), we tend to offer lame or trite sacrifices. He doesn’t want to be treated like some half-hearted obligatory afterthought. He doesn’t deserve to be treated that way. He is Creator God. If you wouldn’t give it to the government (or, say, a celebrity you’d like to impress), don’t give it to the LORD.
In these chapters, Israel sounds like an ungrateful, forgetful child. “How have you loved us?” (1:2) “How have we defiled You?” (1:7) Hmmmm, I don’t know, take a small glance at any point in your history?
Maybe other nations can get away with not taking their pagan idols seriously, but Israel should never become casual about their God. Their situation was decidedly different.
What is observable about my relationship with God? What does it communicate to those around me? What about your relationship with Him? Is He an accessory to the many interests on your vision board? If you’re unsure or convicted, don’t get ashamed, just ask the questions and engage with what the next steps could be.
How has the LORD loved you?
How have you defiled Him?
Talk to Him about it and see what He says.