By Dr. Ronnie W. Wolfe
Malachi 1:10 Who is there even among you that would shut the doors for nought? neither do ye kindle fire on mine altar for nought. I have no pleasure in you, saith the LORD of hosts, neither will I accept an offering at your hand.
In our lesson today we are going to concentrate on the word "shut the doors for nought." The word "for nought" are taken from the Hebrew word CHINNAM, and it has shades of meaning, mainly the meaning of free of charge and the meaning of for no purpose, vain.
If we take the first meaning, we see that Malachi is asking if there were any who would simply shut the doors of the temple at the proper times without charge, or without being paid to do the work. This idea is shared by Hawker thus: "though none of you will so much as open the doors of my house without a reward . . ." Henry relates it this way: "The priests would offer the sacrifices that were brought to the altar, because they had their share of them; but as for any other service of the temple, that had not a particular fee belonging to it, they would not stir a step, nor lend a hand, to it; and this was the general temper of them."
Some, I suppose, today in our churches do a good work for the Lord, but it is only for pay; and, although a pastor is to live of the gospel, he is not to allow that to be his passion but rather the preaching and teaching of the word of God.
Jamison, Fauset, and Brown render the meaning thus: "Better no sacrifices than vain ones (Isaiah 1:11-15)."
Also, John Gill thus: "would there were any among you?" any good man that would shut the doors of the temple, that so a man might not bring an abominable offering; intimating, that the priests or Levites however, who were porters, ought to shut the doors against such persons;"
The text, I believe, bears out that the shutting of the doors here refers to the vanity of the offerings that were given to God by the priests; therefore, the doors should never be opened to them, since the offerings have no real value. The text states that the offerings have been profaned; that is, of no value for worship. Actually, this is a participle (according to some) and indicates a continuing offering of profanity to God (see verse 12). Also, verse 13 explains further the vanity of the offerings given to God: they are a weariness, they are snuffed at; they are torn, lame, sick. This denotes that the offerings given in practice (not in heart) to God were actually vain.
With these vain and profaned offerings, perhaps there needs to be a shutting of doors among some "Christian" churches that offer up these vain sacrifices to God.Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men.
But there will be a day, according to verse 11, that the name of the Lord will be great among the Gentiles, and there will be a pure offering given to God from among the heathen. This, no doubt, reaches far into time when Jesus will set up his Millennial Reign upon the earth, and both Jews and Gentiles shall offer a pure offering to him from the heart and not simply from practice.
We remember the words in Matthew 15:9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. I pray we do not worship the Lord in vain. May he be glorified in our worship and our sacrifice of praise to his name.
May the door ever remain open in our churches because of our pure offering unto the Lord.