"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." - Malachi 3:16
The nation of Judah, recently returned from exile in Babylon, had begun to stray. Things were quickly beginning to fray around the edges. Most of the people, focused on getting their homes built and their farms and businesses in order, were pursuing their own goals and interests and forgetting God’s priorities and His purpose for their lives and their nation and forgetting about just doing things His way and trusting in Him.
The prophet Malachi was sent to turn their hearts back to the Lord and as so often happens, he was partially successful. That is to say, some of the people’s hearts were touched by God’s Word and responded to His call to get their priorities back in order.
That’s where this verse comes in. “Those who feared the Lord spoke with one another.” They began to encourage one another to get right with God.
“The Lord paid attention and heard them.” God hears us in our daily conversations with our friends, even when we aren’t praying. He’s paying attention; the silent listener to every conversation.
“…and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared the Lord and esteemed His name.” God is lovingly keeping an account of those quiet conversations and words of encouragement. Even if you feel like your words seem to have no effect, God knows all about those little talks, and so “your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
So hang in there, dear Brother, dear Sister in Christ. Speak those words of encouragement in the Lord, to one another. God is listening and “He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.”
Lord Jesus, put into my mouth and my heart the word someone needs to hear today to turn their heart to You or to keep them on track. Give me your words of encouragement and the gentle boldness to speak them out. Thank you, Lord, for listening to each of our conversations, today. Amen.
Pastor Dan Giles