This chapter begins with an announcement of the coming of the Lord. Yet, in dealing with His people, the prophet is led of the Lord to ask, “But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap.” (Verse 2) What a blessed day to consider! The day the Lord returns to set up His kingdom. Yet, He shall come as a purifier and a refiner. Who can stand before Him?

In the next few verses, we find the Lord rebuking His people for cheating Him. The reaction of the people to the Lord’s accusations reveal the coldness and apathy of their hearts towards Him. We read in Malachi 3:8, “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.” Being accused of robbing God, they are defensive and asked the Lord how they have robbed Him. The Lord pointed out that through their tithes and offerings they had robbed Him. Withholding from Him what was rightfully His is the same as robbing the Lord.

We read in Malachi 3:13-14, “Your words have been stout against me, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, What have we spoken so much against thee? Ye have said, It is vain to serve God: and what profit is it that we have kept his ordinance, and that we have walked mournfully before the LORD of hosts?” With hardened hearts, they spoke hard against the Lord. Yet they ask, “What have we spoken so much against thee?’ The Lord patiently points out some of the things they had been saying against Him.

Yet, in the midst of all this evil and rebellion, the Lord has His people. There is ALWAYS a remnant. There are ALWAYS those who have remained faithful to the Lord. He addresses them in Malachi 3:16-18, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”

In opposition to those who robbed and spoke boldly against the Lord, this remnant still feared (reverenced) Him. They would speak to each other about the Lord in sweet fellowship even in the face of all those who had turned against Him. Notice how that when we talk, the Lord listens. It is obvious that He heard those who spoke against Him, and He hears those who speak lovingly of Him. We read in Hebrews 6:10, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name…” The Lord never overlooks those who look to Him. He takes note of each one individually and writes about them in His book of remembrance! Let’s compare that to what we read in Psalms 56:8, “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” Not only does the Lord hear us when we talk, he sees us when we cry. Our sorrows are also noted. The tears we shed are saved in a bottle and written in His book of remembrance. There is nothing done that the Lord does not notice! There is nothing done for Him that is not rewarded!

The Lord had a remnant of faithful believers in Malachi’s day. Today, as the professing church turns away from the Lord and His precious and important truths, the Lord still has a remnant of faithful believers. I’m sure William O. Cushing had this portion in Malachi in mind as he penned these words:

When He cometh, when He cometh to make up His jewels,

All His jewels, precious jewels, His loved and His own.

Like the stars of the morning, His bright crown adorning,

They shall shine in their beauty, bright gems for His crown. (289.6)