Purity: A Godly Principle in Apple Juice
God’s Word – MALACHI 1:6-10
The Lord Almighty says . . . “A child honors his father. A servant respects his master. I am your father and master. So, why don’t you honor and respect me? You have despised my name! But you ask, ‘How have we ever despised your name?’ You have despised it by bringing unclean sacrifices to my altar.
But you ask, ‘How have we defiled the sacrifices? You defile them by saying the altar of the Lord deserves no respect. When you bring blind, crippled and diseased animals as sacrifices. Isn’t that wrong? Try giving them to your governor. Would he be pleased with you? No! He wouldn’t accept them,” 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? . . . . I am not pleased with you. I will not accept your gifts, says the Lord Almighty.”
An Illustration using Apple Juice
Suppose you had a 50-gallon wooden barrel of the purest, most tasty and aromatic apple juice the world had ever produced. It was so good, that you’ve been offered $1,500 for just a gallon.
Let’s just say . . . someone took a single teaspoon of animal urine and dumped it into that barrel. Would you drink any of it? Certainly not – yech! It would be no longer pure or fit for drinking. It’s absolutely worthless!
Consider this: You might find ways to cheat on your income tax; steal cash from your parents; or pilfer from your employer by making personal long distance phone calls, Xerox copies, etc. This ill-gotten gain now pollutes EVERYTHING it comes into contact with. Now, all your money – even what’s in your bank account, becomes like the tainted apple juice – there’s no way to separate polluted from good.
Luke 6:33 explains that when giving to God, you will receive back far more than you give. But, if what you give is polluted, how do you think God feels about your gift?
Keeping Your Gifts Pure
You see, God is perfect – so perfect that we can’t come directly into his presence. Long ago, He instituted the yearly shedding of blood by a nearly perfect animal to wash away all the sins of His people. However, their sins became so numerous, there wasn’t enough perfect animal blood for cleansing.
So, He sent his perfect Son to become man. Jesus, the Christ, led an absolutely blameless life and died as a totally spotless lamb. This blood from this pure, spotless lamb washed away all of our sins once and for all! His selfless act allows anyone, who puts their trust in Jesus, then asks God for forgiveness can be reconciled to Him!
Remember the apple juice! All good gifts are from God. Don’t pollute them with insignificant stolen items. Keep your gifts pure and acceptable to God!
(The quotation is taken from the Bible Translations; Everyday Bible, New Century Version and New Living Translation. Both are accurate, but easy-to-understand based on everyday vocabulary.)
© Jim Edwards