“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.”
It becomes altar call time at this point. Despite all of the things the Israelites have been accused of by Malachi there are still people who fear the Lord from among the Israelites. A scroll of remembrance was written in the presence of God, listing the names of the people there who feared God.
This is a public display. Everyone could see who was there and who was taking a stand for God that day. In an infant dedication service parents come in the front of the entire church and agree that they will raise their child in a godly fashion. The congregation likewise agrees to support the couple. A certificate of dedication is issued. What it all comes down to is that both parties are now held accountable to see that the child is raised to fear the Lord.
A public commitment is something that is not meant to be taken lightly. Not that promises made in secret should be disregarded either but public commitments have other people involved to assure that the promise is upheld.
“’They will be mine,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘in the day when I make up my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.”
In addition to the intangible benefits from serving the Lord, this is why we serve God. Even though at times it seems like God does not reward those who serve him and turns a blind eye to those who do evil, there will be a day when our faithfulness is remembered. We will be treasured possessions.
What is a treasured possession? Imagine a child with a favorite stuffed animal. This stuffed animal goes everywhere they go. If it gets left behind somewhere, the parents must return to get it or the child will not sleep that night. In the beginning it’s nice and cuddly but after time it starts to show some wear.
Washing this stuffed animal helps at first but after time it just always looks dirty. The fur begins to wear off after time. To a normal person, at this point it would be time to retire the stuffed animal but not to the child. It is their treasured possession. What other people see as dirty and without value, the child sees as the most important thing in their life and they don’t care what it looks like or what has happened to it.
This is how God looks upon as when we are His treasured possessions. Others say that we’re dirty and have been through too much and are worthless. God doesn’t care. Like the child with the stuffed animal, He doesn’t see the dirt or the wear, all He sees is the value in us that no one else can see. That is a truly great thing to know. The few Israelites who were still serving the Lord in Malachi’s day were God’s treasured possessions and He wants them to know that their service will be worth it all.