Wednesday, June 10, 2015

When God Wanted to Shut Down the Church

I have been praying for the last 30 minutes or so. I was reading this Scripture from Malachi 1:10 in the BBE version, "If only there was one among you who would see that the doors were shut, so that you might not put a light to the fire on my altar for nothing! I have no pleasure in you, says the Lord of armies, and I will not take an offering from your hands."
The Expositor's Bible Commentary makes the following rather pointed commentary. "God, once again speaking of himself in the first person, wished that the temple would go out of business. As long as it was not serving as a meeting place for God and man, why should any perfunctory and self-deceiving rituals go on it it? Not only were the sacrifices ineffective, but the priests and the people were lulled into thinking that their deeds were winning God's approval. So why not shut the temple doors and be done with what was for priests merely a nuisance? The thought may be applied to present-day churches that have ceased to be places where people worship in spirit and in truth and are merely meeting places and nothing more. It would be better for them to close down that to continue misleading those who think that what they are doing pleases God. He could hardly have spoken his mind more clearly than he did in the last part of verse ten: "I am not pleased with you ... and I will accept no offering from your hands."
May the Spirit of the Lord never come to the place He says to us "You may as well quit what you are doing because it offends me and I will not be a part of it." Many good deeds are being done by many groups. May it be that the church never loses sight of our primary call and purpose.