Then those who revered the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD took note and listened, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the LORD and thought on his name. They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act.
I see it happening a lot these days. I see it happening in coffee shops, restaurants, office cubicles, dorm rooms, and even park benches. I see it happening with three men talking quietly around a table, four men pouring over open Bibles, and two men with heads bowed. I see people spontaneously coming together to talk about God and to Him. I see a lot of spiritual kilo wattage generated with no cost to any church. Jesus is like a magnet attracting people together.
What I am seeing reminds me of what we see in today’s scripture from the prophet Malachi. He tells of people who love the Lord coming together to talk about Him. This happens against the flow of a culture weakened by moral and spiritual rot. One of the things that stands out about the text is its context. The verses immediately preceding paint the picture of people declaring, “It is vain to serve the LORD”, while also mocking, “What do we profit by keeping his commands?” (Verse 14)
Amidst the decadence, there are those people who “revered the LORD and spoke with another…and thought on his name.” With prophetic vision, Malachi sees in this the future of the nation. And God is smiling!
Malachi says the Lord looks at these people and has a scrapbook made about them: “a book of remembrance was written before him of those who revered the LORD and thought on his name.” That’s how special their gatherings are to the Lord. The book of remembrance alludes to the custom of ancient kings keeping a record of those who served them faithfully, so they might reward them (See Esther 6:1-3). So to, God promises those who gather: “They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act.”God cups His ear to listen and takes pleasure in them.
Jesus did promise, “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them” (Matthew 18:20). We know Jesus makes Himself present in the wondrous way when people gather in His name. When the spiritual fire burns low, watch what happens when the coals are brought together!
From what I see happening it doesn’t take a pastor to make this happen, or someone with the spiritual gift of teaching. All it takes are a few people who love the Lord and want to get together. Jesus promises that He will show up!
As I ponder Malachi’s story along with what I see happening today, a few thoughts come to mind:
- The next time I get together with a friend, or friends, for coffee or a meal, we can turn our thoughts and conversation towards God.
- We can share a “God-Sighting”, an answer to prayer, or recent blessing.
- We can lift up a prayer for our country, churches, or personal needs.
- We can take a few moments to work through a Bible commentary or devotional.
- If nothing more, we can end our time with hands joined and praying the Lord’s Prayer.
My experience in doing this is that we are encouraged and built up. Most of all, God is all ears, and smiling!
A fellow traveler,