"Then those who feared Yahweh spoke with one another. Yahweh paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared Yahweh and esteemed his name. They shall be mine, says Yahweh 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. 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." - Malachi 3:16-18
The prophet Malachi (435-415 bc) writes about a band of believers who fears God and serves him. This seems to be a relatively small number among the Jews who have returned to the land. God pays attention to this small group. He knows those within Israel who truly fear him. With perfect precision, God will distinguish between the righteous and the wicked. The righteous are those who trust in and are waiting for the coming Messiah (Malachi 3:1).
Here are some life principles: (1) keep fearing God and esteeming his name, no matter what; (2) get together often with others who fear God, banding closely together with them; and (3) realise that, in the end, God will sort out the righteous and the wicked.
Father, may I fear you and esteem your name, along with others. Thank you that you pay attention to us and hear us. Thank you for the book of remembrance that is being written before you of those who fear and esteem your name. One day soon you will make up your treasured possession. Thank you that, by your grace, I am a part of that treasured possession. May I be a son who serves you. Please help your people in these dark, uncertain times. May we shine as lights in the world. Help us to carry the fire. Thank you that we can fully trust you to take care of us.
Father, please be with the believers in Afghanistan and Haiti today. They are your treasured possession, too. Spare them, protect them, and encourage them. Pay attention to them, hear their prayers for help, and act on their behalf.
We love you, Lord. Thank you for loving us. Our eyes are on you. In Jesus' name, amen.
- Jeff Coleman