“What is the book of remembrance (Malachi 3:16)?”
Malachi 3:16–18 says,
The book of Malachi is a detailed account from the Lord to Israel about their disobedience. His charges against them included offering defective sacrifices (1:8), teaching error (2:8), being unfaithful to their wives (2:13–14), and *complaining that it was vain (futile) to serve the Lord (3:13–14). God pronounced strict judgments upon those guilty of such offenses (Malachi 2:2, 9). (Read the*underlined) Malachi makes it clear that it is sin.
V14. Have you ever come in contact with someone who says like that? They went to church for a long time, got involved in the programs of the church, made a decision for Jesus Christ, but through a period of years they have come to believe that it didn’t do much for them; so they no longer attend church or any spiritual activities. Probably will not say that out loud but this is a prevailing attitude among some people. Some people think their life is more difficult when they serve God, so who need God, the church, Christianity? It is a burden. What is the use? . [I have been guilty in my heart of saying at times, “What good does it do to preach the Word? I mean look at the lives of the people! No change, no difference.]
V15.”What is the use of religion? Does it make any difference to a man’s condition?” Sinful lives appeared to have a firm foundation, and to live in mansions, while righteous ones were living in mud huts. Our attitude can be this way sometimes. Look at my neighbors, look at my co-workers, look at the people, they don’t go to church nor have any faith, they are godless and look they are better off. They are happy and they make more money and are rewarded for their immorality. WE probably have not said this but we have thought it from time to time. Don’t WE? Malachi makes it clear that to dwell upon these ideas and to have these thoughts drive us to throw off our faith, is not merely folly, it is sin.
Skeptics (doubters) argue, “What are we getting out of it?” The skeptics are serving God as a mere duty. When it becomes too troublesome they abandon God. When their expectations were not met they question God’s pay off. Some people are serving God not to glorify Him, but for their own selfish interests and personal advantage. When their selfish interest and personal advantage are not met to their satisfaction, then they no longer serve God. Their conclusion was “We’re no better off!” *Are we serving out of duty or out of love? If out of duty, if no solid (tangible) results, then we abandon God. This is not just a problem with them; it can also be a problem with us. ***Now, If we serve HIM without complaining see verse 16
V(16) He hears those who have:
1. The right attitude- reverence and respect for God.
2. The right heart- fears the Lord and wants to bring glory to Him.
3. Are looking for the right results- more humility, obedience, and worship.
4. Those who fear Him, yes, but those who are his children.
V(16)Fear of the Lord.(This fear is out of respect and love/ not like fear of tiger)
1. I fear my parents. I no longer fear that I will get a spanking or a whipping. When I was 8, 9, or 10 I feared that, but now I fear them from a different perspective. I do not want to disappoint them, make them ashamed, and dishonor the family name. I do not want my actions and attitudes to get in the way of our relationship. I fear them. I take into account how this will affect our relationship. Even if my actions will lead me to poverty, to ruin, to public humiliation, just to hear my parents’ words, “Son, we are so proud of you.”
2. I fear my wife. Not in the sense that I am afraid of her. No, but I do not want to disappoint her, make her ashamed of me, dishonor her through my actions. I do not want my actions and attitudes to get in the way of our relationship. I fear my wife. I take into account how each thing will affect our relationship. Even if my actions will lead us to poverty, to ruin, to public humiliation, just to hear Kalyani’s words, “David, I am so proud of what you have done. I love you.”
3. Above all of these, I fear the Lord. I do fear getting discipline from him, but beyond that I do not want to disappoint him, make him ashamed, and dishonor his Holy Name. I do not want my actions and attitudes to get in the way of our relationship. Everything I do, I need to take into account how this will affect my relationship with the Lord. I fear and respect and honor the Lord. Even if my righteous actions lead me to poverty, to ruin, or to public humiliation, just to hear the Lord’s words, “Well done good and faithful servant” makes all the difference in the world.
Spoke to one another. [for them that feared Jehovah, and that thought upon his name]
** Fellowship is so important. To hang around an ungodly crowd who do not take the Lord seriously will begin to lessen our fear, it will begin to ruin us spiritually.
For Encouraging- (Heb 10:25 NIV) Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another–and all the more as you see the Day approaching. [Other translations–Think about OUR LORD- Super Important]
So, we serve God-NOT out of duty but out of LOVE! Then we don’t ask “What is the use of religion?” We don’t wait for the reward (Emily). But you know what? –There is reward!!!God then made it clear that He hears and knows the intent of every heart and desires to honor those who honor Him. He knows those who refuse to murmur against Him (Numbers 14:27, 36; Deuteronomy 1:27; Psalm 106:25).
Several places in Scripture refer to God’s “book” (Exodus 32:32; Psalm 56:8; 69:28; Daniel 7:10; 12:1;Revelation 13:8; 20:15). In His infinite knowledge, God does not need a written record in order to keep track of human deeds. However, when He speaks to us, He often uses metaphor or parable to help us understand (Mark 4:33). As Malachi presented God’s words to the people, they would have understood what a book of remembrance represented. I strongly believe that these books exist in the Heaven. The kings of Persia kept such books, records of those who had rendered service to the king, that they might be rewarded. The book of Esther contains a good example of this (Esther 6:1–3).
It is also important to note that the reward was often delayed. That’s why books were needed, so that no worthy deed for the king went unrewarded. In Malachi 3:17 the Lord says, “‘On the day when I act . . . .” He is indicating that faithful service may go on for years with no apparent reward, but He is taking note. There is coming a day when He will act. One reason the Israelites had grown lax in their obedience and were becoming jealous of evildoers was that they thought the Lord did not see or care (Malachi 3:14–15; cf. Psalm 94:7;Ezekiel 8:12)(What about us?)
However, Scripture is clear that loyalty to God does not go unnoticed or unrewarded. Jesus spoke of this many times (Matthew 10:42; Mark 9:41; Luke 6:23; Revelation 22:12). He spoke of storing up treasure in heaven, as though making deposits into a bank account (Matthew 6:20). The implication is that what is done on earth is forever recorded in heaven (2 Corinthians 5:10). The book of remembrance is simply another term God used to encourage His faithful ones that their love and service for Him was appreciated. It is His promise that, when His judgment comes against those who reject Him, He knows His own and will preserve them. The account of righteous Noah is a good illustration of God’s preserving those who honor Him (Genesis 6:9).
Jesus encouraged His followers to “rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Even as He said it, Jesus knew that their faithfulness to Him would result in earthy trouble, heartache, and even death (Matthew 24:9; Acts 9:16; 12:2). But knowing that their names were written in God’s book helped the disciples persevere to the end (Matthew 10:22; Mark 13:13). Galatians 6:9 continues the theme of future reward: “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” Those who continue to honor the Lord when many around them fall away can rest in the confidence that their names are written in God’s book of remembrance.
Let us Pray!