“Who Would Know The Difference?” (Malachi 1:6-8)

The late Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple computers, was an obsessive-compulsive creative genius. Steve Isaacson, the author of the biography, Steve Jobs, wrote…“Jobs … always indulged his obsession that the unseen parts of a product should be crafted as beautifully as its facade, just as his father had taught him when they were building a fence…”


It was this quest for this high standard of precision and perfection that separated Jobs from his peers. His managers and design team pleaded with him, insisting that no one would ever see or care about the aesthetics of the inside of the Apple computers, declaring, “Who would know the difference?” Jobs dismissed them averring that he knew, and therefore, would not tolerate any lapse in quality control or honesty.


…But you say, ‘How have we despised your name?’ By offering polluted food upon my altar. But you say, ‘How have we polluted you?’ By saying that the Lord‘s table may be despised. 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?…

Malachi 1:6-8 (ESV)


The Prophet Malachi pronounced a scathing judgment against the evil priests who disobeyed God’s commandments and sacrificed diseased animals at the temple altar. With casual observation, diseased animals would appear identical to unblemished ones. Who would know the difference? Who could see what they were doing? The corrupt priests offering the sacrifices knew, and of course, nothing is hidden from God.


Do I hold myself to the same high standards when no one can see what I am doing or thinking? Perhaps I may do so for physical actions, but what about my thought life? Steve Jobs held himself to the standards of his own conscience. When I do that, I fail miserably. Only when I hold myself to the standards of God do I have any hope of succeeding. I am far from achieving that goal but by the work of the Holy Spirit in my life, God is slowly transforming me into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.


Who would know the difference?


God does. This is why He sent His Son, Jesus Christ. All who confess and repent of their sins and accept Him as Lord and Savior may know the difference between living up to one’s standards or to God’s.


Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.


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