Saturday after the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Malachi 3:6—4:6 (NKJV)
3:6 “For I am the LORD, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. 7 Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the LORD of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ 8 Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. 9 You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. 11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the LORD of hosts; 12 “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” Says the LORD of hosts.
13 “Your words have been harsh against Me,” Says the LORD, “Yet you say, ‘What have we spoken against You?’ 14 You have said, ‘It is useless to serve God; What profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the LORD of hosts? 15 So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; They even tempt God and go free.'”
16 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 who meditate on His name. 17 “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.” 18 Then you shall again discern between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.
4:1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up,” Says the LORD of hosts, “That will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But to you who fear My name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; And you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. 3 You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day that I do this,” Says the LORD of hosts. 4 “Remember the Law of Moses, My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments. 5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD. 6 And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
In Malachi’s day Israel had become complacent in the fear of the Lord and meditating on His Name. The people, led by wicked and self-indulgent priests, believed that these things were a vain service to the Lord. These things didn’t matter to them because they believed there was no benefit in serving the Lord. “It is vain to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of Hosts?” (3:14) The outward action was not satisfying them because they were not doing the Lord’s commands out of faith and love toward God. When these things “didn’t work” to arouse their feelings of piety and to make their lives easier in the short term, they mocked the worship of the Lord and despised it.
In an age in which God is mocked, there will always be a remnant who continues to fear the Lord and meditate on His Name. This is seen in verse 16. The fear of the Lord is faith which fears, loves, and trusts in God above all things. His Name is God’s entire self-revelation in the Holy Scriptures, for wherever God’s Name is, there God Himself is to do His saving work through His means of grace. Those who do not abandon the Lord, faith, and the Word, are as jewels to the Lord, part of His precious treasure which is the Holy Christian Church. By faith in Christ, you are a precious jewel to the Lord, for you are His treasure which was bought at a great price: by the blood of Jesus.