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A Book of Remembrance (Malachi 3:16-18)

Sermon on 18 December 2022 by Ps Justin


The book of Malachi is the last book of the 12 minor prophetsand also the last book of the Old Testament. Malachi was the last prophet that God sent to Israel before John the Baptist. The book of Malachi is a book of questions and answers. It is alright to ask God questions, but not questioning God – questioning His sovereign will and questioning His presence. In the book of Malachi and also among people now, we see questioning of God’s providence, whether it is worth serving God, and why they are not blessed by God. The book of Malachi ends with the word “curse”. But the New Testament ends with the phrase about the “grace” of Jesus Christ (Rev 22:21). Jesus redeemed us from the curse (Gal 3:13).


Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name. “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels.And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.” Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him. - Malachi 3:16-18

The name Malachi means “my messenger” (Mal 1:1). Just like all servants of God, Malachi had a burden concerning the holiness of God’s people. The book of Malachi covers the following 3 points:

• Nation privilege – the love of God for the nation

• Nation pollution – the sin of the people and the priest

• Nation promises – the book of remembrance and the coming of Elijah and Christ

1. Never ever question God’s love for us

In the book of Malachi, the people of Israel questioned God – “In what way have You loved us?” (Mal 1:2). They had hardened and cold hearts. Our questions reflect our spiritual condition. Even when we meet with difficult situations, do not question God’s love for us. The devil wants us to question God and make us fall (2 Cor 4:8-9). God promised that He would love us to the end of the age (John 13:1). Hold on to this unchangeable fact and truth.

The people of Israel also questioned how they had gone against God – “In what way have we despised Your name?” and “In what way have we defiled You?” (Mal 1:6-7). When we are not genuinely putting God first with reverence and fear, we are not respecting Him and His name, and we are in fact taking His name in vain.

A third question asked by the people of Israel was “In what way shall we return?” (Mal 3:7). They also asked “In what way have we robbed you?” (Mal 3:8). 2 Cor 9:6-7 tells us to sow generously. And in response to God’s question of why their words were harsh against Him, the people asked “What have we spoken against You?” (Mal 3:13-14). And they continued to serve with empty rituals, thinking that external observance of religious ceremonies would satisfy God’s demands on their lives (Col 3:23-24).

2. Never ever cause people to stumble

Mal 2:5-6 tells us about 7 qualities characteristic of a true servant of God.

“My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name.True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. – Malachi 2:5-6

(i) they revere God (v5b)

(ii) they had a concern for God’s name (v5c)

(iii) they preached all of God’s truth (v6a)

(iv) they hated sin (v6b)

(v) they walked with God (v6c)

(vi) they lived uprightly (v6c)

(vii) they turned many from sin (v6d)

3. Never ever pretend to be a servant of God

You heart should always yield to the Holy Spirit. You aim to please God. Do not be like the people in Titus 1:16, who profess to know God, but deny Him by their works – they are disobedient. Only true servants of God will be included in the book of remembrance (Mal 3:16). The book of life lists names of all who are born again. The book of remembrance contains only the names of those who revere God.

In the coming of the day of judgement, the first to be judged will be the proud (Mal 4:1-3).


Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet. Before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. – Malachi 4:5

And Elijah came to all the people, and said, “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” But the people answered him not a word. – 1 Kings 18:21

We cannot serve two masters. Let us offer our pure hearts to the Lord. In Malachi’s final statement, we are told about judgement day. We are called to prepare for the coming of the Lord.

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