I'm so excited to share a guest post today from Adam Ranck, who led worship for us at Relevant last year. I was privileged to sing with him and Jen from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, something I will share more about next week when I'm at Relevant. Woo hoo!!Let me introduce you...Adam is an artist, musician, lover of the Word, technology, and good stories. He's currently the intern worship leader at Washington Avenue Bible Church in Ephrata, PA, serving under his mentor, Mark Burkholder. However, sometime soon next year, he'll be moving down to Lynchburg, VA following the marriage to the most beautiful and lovely Kara Coleman. Pursuing a Master's education is planned, but only God knows the details continuing from there. Pure excitement. You can find out more about Adam at his website, adamranck.com.Now, on to what Adam has to say!
Are We Offering Polluted Worship?
In the book of Malachi, we read about an interesting discussion between God and His people. We hear a nation who is actually arguing with God, saying “How have you loved us?” (Mal. 1:2) God describes to His people how He loves them (God has a LOT of patience), but then prompts an interesting question.
“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.” (Mal. 1:6)
The people reply back, asking God, “How have we despised Your name?” (Mal. 1:6).
“By offering polluted food upon my altar.” (Mal. 1:7)
But what does that mean? Lets look a little further to hear God explain.
“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.” (Mal. 1:8) “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.” (Mal. 1:10)
Just to explain a little bit of what’s being talked about: in the Old Testament, Israel would offer God literal sacrifices of animals and foods to worship Him and ask for forgiveness of sins. To offer it to God, they would take it to the temple and burn it on a large altar of fire.
For every sacrifice given, there was a specific ritual or plan that people had to followto do it right. You can find out the details of these sacrifices in Leviticus, starting in chapter one. Understanding this really helps us see how lucky we are that we don’t have to go through all these steps to worship or ask God to forgive our sins. If you’re wondering why we don’t do that anymore, you can read the book of Hebrews to understand how Jesus’ death was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins, and in 1 John to know Jesus forgives our sins.
However, even if we no longer have to offer sacrifices of animals or foods, God has called us to sacrifice something else. Ourselves. “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” (Rom. 12:1)
So how does this connect?
Find out tomorrow when we continue Adam's discussion on Polluted Worship. It is such good stuff!
Thank you, Adam!