“Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.” (Malachi 3:16-17)
This precious promise occurs at the end of the Old Testament, a time of wholesale apostasy on the part of the people of Israel. But there was a believing remnant. Today, Christians again are in a minority (as always), and it does us well to study the former situations, paying attention to the nature of the remnant as well as God’s response to them.
Notice first the attitude of these believers toward God. We see that they “feared” God when they “thought upon his name.” Who could help but do the same as the work and character of God are pondered? Further, a proper attitude and walk with God lead to true fellowship. They “spake often one to another.” Too often it seems that mere friendship replaces true Christian fellowship as entertainment of guests replaces true hospitality. Human relationships can never attain the fullness possible unless they center around the Lord.
Next, note God’s response to the dear saints in our text. He hearkens and hears, evidently paying special attention to the attitudes (“feared the LORD”) and the words (“spake”) of the saints. Then He registers their history in a special “book of remembrance.” We will all give an account one day, but we may be assured that the good will be remembered, for it is in God’s special book of remembrance.
Likewise, we are assured of salvation: “They shall be mine,” He says. We will be spared while others are being judged. The mighty Lord of hosts holds us as dear to Him as “jewels.” JDM