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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

June 20, 2014

God's Jewels

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

The prophet Malachi brought a message from God to the Jews in Judea at a time after the return of some of the Jews from Babylonian captivity and prior to the birth of Jesus Christ.

His message was apparently intended for a majority of the Jews in Judea who had become lackadaisical in their worship of God. "Your words have been harsh against me", God told the people (Malachi 3:13). Malachi's message conveys the impression that things were not going so well for the returnees. God's people have experienced times like that in their history, giving them occasion to ask: "God, why are you allowing this to happen to us? When will you intervene on our behalf?"

But Malachi's fellow Jews went beyond such questions. They considered the godless and disobedient to be better off than those who tried to serve God. "It is useless to serve God; what profit is it that we have kept His ordinance, and that we have walked as mourners before the Lord of hosts? So now we call the proud blessed, for those who do wickedness are raised up; they even tempt God and go free" (verses 14-15).

If you are surrounded by people with that attitude, it can be a challenge to remain faithful to God. The biblical principle is that a little leaven leavens the whole lump – if not in deed, then certainly in attitude. At such times fellowship with those who are loyal is very important, serving to form a barrier against such bad influence. That's exactly what some did during Malachi's time: "Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another" (verse 16).

They encouraged one another with the knowledge that God will call all sins to judgment and that God will reward those who serve Him.

How does God react to such faithful behaviour? "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" (verses 16-17).

The book of Malachi contains a clear reference to the end time (Malachi 4:5). Jesus said that prior to His return the love of God would grow cold among many of God's people (Matthew 24:12).

What that time comes, we want to be among those who are like those loyal Jews in Malachi's time and who comforted one another with the knowledge of God's faithfulness. Let's be counted among God's jewels!

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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