“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and meditate on His name.” (3:16)
In the time of the Kings the prophet Elijah was in flight from the murderous Jezebel. God questioned his fleeing. Elijah defended himself saying evil Israel had killed all God’s servants and “I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.” (I Kings 19:14c) The Lord responds with another assignment for the prophet and then assures him: “I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (19:18)
Moving forward to the time of Malachi the believers in the land of Israel were concerned about their fate in light of the prophet’s pronouncements. Again, as we observed in Part 5, God pauses in announcing judgment to offer hope; hope to the faithful remnant. Just as in Elijah’s time, God always keeps a remnant of people who serve Him alone. He says, “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.” (3:17-18)
The Lord of Hosts then promises His jewels “the day is coming” when all will be made right. The proud will be made stubble. “But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings…” (4:2a) He indeed has risen and made many His jewels and He will indeed come again, not only to a remnant but the entire nation of Israel, and “pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:10)
Until that Day, you, me, we must determine whether we are one who serves God or one who does not serve Him. Do our names appear in the Lamb’s Book of Life? (Revelation 20:11-15) While it often seems we are but a small remnant in a big world of Baal, we must persevere and be about His work, His way, and His word as long as we draw breath. May it be so.
Next time: (Part 8 – Conclusion)