Factory Seconds

When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the LORD Almighty. (Malachi 1:8)

Okay. So you’re going to kill the little beast anyway. What’s the freaking point in perfection when the end point is a bloody mess? You feed the thing. Protect it from wolves, lions, starvation, bad weather, stupid mothers. You wash it, groom it, treat it better than you treat your own kids. Then on that special day, the day when you come before the Lord of life, the creator of the ends of the earth, the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the deity who has already told you, told you point-blank that he could care less about your bulls and goats and sheep—yes, on that special day you gently lead your precious, innocent little pet to the priest who takes a knife and slits its quivering neck, unzips its tender belly, scrapes out its guts, and throws the carcass on the barbeque altar. I mean, what’s one limping lamb when it’s all going to end up so much roast mutton on a stick?

Who the hell is this God anyway? Why the agitation over dead meat? What’s the big religious significance of slicing some dumb animal for something it didn’t do? Yeah, yeah, yeah. It all points to Jesus, the Lamb of God. But at least he knew what he was dying for. That poor beast can’t even ask “Why have you forsaken me?”

But God doesn’t just want a sacrifice. Oh, no. He wants the best of the bunch. He wants you to fork over the cream of the proverbial crop, the best of show, the crème de la crème. He don’t want no lemons. He wants the pink Cadillac, momma. And you’d better hand it over or you can kiss your pampered assets goodbye. Divinity asserts its divine rights: he made ’em; he wants ’em.

But we’ll show him. Oh, yeah. He wants the cherry? He’s gonna get the pit. He’s gonna get the ardent leftovers, the sludge on the bottom of the bowl. Hey, God, take this cup, buddy. We’re gonna put him on a devotion diet, make him make do with the remains of the day. He’s gonna learn to control his insatiable appetite for deference. He’s gonna get worship light if he even gets that. He’s gonna learn his place.

And you know what? We’re gonna use his own words against him. We’re gonna shout grace right into his ravenous face. Gonna dance freedom all over his freshly mopped glassy sea. Gonna cash in the get of out jail free card, gonna point to his red-inked signature on the contract, gonna make him cry “uncle.” Instead of lamb, he’s gonna eat crow. His own crow, mind you.

And to make matters harder for him, we’re gonna convince ourselves that we’re doing right by him. We’re gonna actually believe that all he wants is only what we’re tossing him. We’re gonna use belief itself against him. That’s the real miracle. By faith we’re gonna turn that lemon we’re throwing at him into lemonade.

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One Response

  1. Wow. One could almost take this as an indictment of a lack of devotion. (Well said.)

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