Today’s Reading: Malachi 1-4
Today’s Reflection: Malachi 3:16-18
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.
The oracle of Malachi was a call for the people of Judah to return to their faith and obedience of the God of their fathers. The prophet Malachi first begins by outlining all of the issues among them—faithlessness in offerings (Malachi 1:11-14), disobedience among the priesthood (Malachi 2:1-2), selfishness and hatred by husbands to their wives (Malachi 2:13-16), and robbing God of tithes (Malachi 3:8-9).
But then he says God recognizes faith as well. God hears the conversations of those who fear Him and keeps record in a book of remembrance. Then when judgment comes those in the book are saved. God distinguishes between the righteous and the wicked, and rewards each accordingly.
This tells us that God is paying attention to the behaviour of those who claim to follow Him. He sees whether our behaviour is faithless, or if our conversations are faithful. This acknowledgment should change the way we behave, not just in a ‘big brother’ you-are-being-watched kind of way, but also in knowing that God is with you, for you, and desires to help you be faithful to Him.
Isaiah 41:10 – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
This also tells us God remembers. Most of what we do isn’t public or seen by many, but God sees and remembers all. These seemingly small acts of faithfulness and obedience are recorded and will be rewarded.
Mark 12:41-44 – 41) And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42) And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43) And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44) For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”