Malachi 3:16, 17
Then they that feared the LORD spoke often one to another: and the LORD listened, and heard it…
A book of remembrance was written before him .... They shall be mine... in that day when I make up my jewels. Reference is to those persons who "by their pious discourse confirmed each other in goodness, and armed themselves against the impressions which wicked and doubting suggestions might make upon their minds." "God took special notice of what these pious persons did and said: it was as safely laid up in his memory as if it had been catered into a register, in order to be produced at the day of judgment, to their praise and honour." It is possible that the reference of these verses may be to "the growth of something like a brotherhood or order, not claiming or professing the inspiration of the older schools of the prophets, not entering, as they had done, on any vigorous effort at correcting the corruptions that were eating into the nation's life, but bearing a silent witness by lives of holiness and devotion, associated by the bonds of prayer and mutual love, handing down from generation to generation the tradition of higher truths and better hopes." Illustration may be taken from the Chasidim, or Brothers of Mercy, in the time of Judas Maccabaeus, or the Essenes of the New Testament period.
I. GOD'S LOYAL ONES ARE THEY WHO KEEP HIS HONOUR IN IMPERILLED TIMES. Compare the seven thousand in Elijah's day who had not bowed the knee to Baal.
1. The loyal ones may have no public spheres. But the truest work for God is done in the private spheres of home and social intercourse.
2. The loyal ones may have no voice with which to testify. But the mightiest of all arguments is a godly life; the strongest of all persuasions is the winsomeness of a sanctified character. Our witness may have to be rendered in our simply standing aloof, and that may be the very holiest reproach. It may be ours thus simply, but persistently, to keep the honor of God's
(3) Word, as these are imperilled by the self-seeking of our times.
II. GOD'S PRESERVING HAND IS EVER UPON HIS LOYAL AND FAITHFUL ONES. He is even represented as keeping a list of them before him, so that by no possibility shall the interests of any one of them he forgotten. And his personal concern is intimated by his speaking of them as his "jewels." The term suggests:
1. Their value in his sight.
2. Their variety; they are of different colours and qualities and tints.
3. Their safety. They are all there in that day. Jesus said of his disciples, "None of them is lost." - R.T.
Parallel VersesKJV: Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.