"Edom may say, 'Though we have been crushed, we will rebuild the ruins.' But this is what the Lord Almighty says: 'They may build, but I will demolish. They will be called the Wicked Land, a people always under the wrath of the Lord. You will see it with your own eyes and say, "Great is the Lord - even beyond the borders of Israel"'" NIV translation
We, like Edom (Esau), can try to build on our own apart from the will and guidance of the Lord but we are reminded here that God is in control. Though we may not understand all of God's plan, we can know the purpose and that is given at the end of this passage. The purpose in everything is to bring glory to God and even those that do not believe in Jesus will see God's glory.
"'A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?' says the Lord Almighty. 'It is you, O priests, who show contempt for my name. But you ask, "How have we shown contempt for your name?" You place defiled food on my altar. But you ask, "How have we defiled you?" By saying that the Lord's table is contemptible.'" NIV translation
In the first five verses, God has reminded His people that He loved them but now the conversation shifts to the question of if His people love Him. By asking the questions about the honor and respect due Him, God is trying to get them to see how wrong it is. When God brings the charge that they show contempt to His name, they are thinking about words and not actions. God then points to their actions and the fact that the words they say and their actions do not match. Though the priests pay lip service to God they are not obeying what God says and therefore are showing contempt to Him. The same is true today, as the actions of the one sharing the Word of God do not match what is contained in the Word. All we have to do is look at the latest news headlines for examples of this.
"'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." NIV translation
God gets specific here in what the people have done to defile Him. The people did not give God their best and the priests didn't stop them and tell them the truth. They went ahead and performed the sacrifices even though they knew they were improper! Then God asks them what would happen if they tried to give these to the government in payment for taxes. It is easy for us to say that this is all the Old Testament and sacrifices do not apply to us today. But, although we are not called to give animal sacrifices, we are called to offer ourselves and our lives as a sacrifice and as our act of worship (see Romans 12:1). That means our entire life and not just a part of it for a few hours each week. We, as Christians, are all priests and therefore, after we know what we are to do, we are just like the priests that Malachi mentions if we do not give all of our lives to the Lord.