16 Then those who feared the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
Line after line after line of rebuke for their faithlessness. Your words through the prophet Malachi to the people of Israel have been more rebuke than blessing, more critical than uplifting.
And then these words….
“Then those who feared the Lord…”
Not all is lost. Not all are faithless. Not all have rejected and denied you. There are some who remain who fear your name and who hear your rebuke.
These ones; they spoke together and cried out to you together.
And YOU HEARD THEM!
Your ear is attentive those who call upon you in faith and reverence.
How comforting is this truth!
How comforting to know that despite the turning away, the rejection, the rebellion, there is still a remnant of those who fear you and seek to honor you.
How comforting that you do not close off your ears to the cries of man who come in faith and repentance!
How comforting that in the midst of so much falling away, there were some who still feared you! They remained faithful. And they didn’t want to forget.
So they composed a book of remembrance lest they, or others, should fall away in forgetfulness of your might, love, and glory. They chose to remember and to record that remembrance, not just for themselves, but for future generations.
Abba, I wonder if you were to visit us through prophets today, what would the message be? Would it be largely rebuke for our turning away? Would it be judgement for rebellion? Would it be anger and grief over our indifference, our hard heartedness?
And yet, is there not a remnant in our day as well? Are there not ones who still fear you and seek your glory and will? YES! Abba, oh that we may be among that remnant! Protect our hearts from wandering into faithlessness and rebellion! Protect us from choosing our own way over yours! Protect us from the self righteousness indignation of your rebuke, thinking we are more right than reality reveals.
But when you speak, may we hear, and may we respond as those who feared you here did. May we remember and proclaim your glory, esteeming your name! May we be found faithful and pleasing in your sight.
Your response to such faith is deeply comforting and hope filled! For your people, these who feared you…you claimed them.
“They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.”
Their faith was pleasing in your sight. You claimed them and made them your treasured possession!
Abba, may we be your treasured possession!! May we find favor in your sight as our faith rests in you; as we live repentantly before you! May we find favor in the proclamation of your glory, not only in our words, but in our actions and lives before you!
May the world see, through us, just how glorious and worthy of worship you are!
In a world that is turning away; in a world where “believers” are choosing their man made “truths” over your word; may we, your body here at Hephzibah, may we be a faithful remnant who fears you and walks in faith and repentance every day of our lives here on this globe.
May we be yours and you be ours, for the proclamation of your glory to all who see.
Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.
We love you, Abba. Amen.