There is a great little Bible
Passage at the end of Malachi chapter three!
Some folks there have been
talking. And God has been listening! The
conversation so pleased God that He apparently wrote a book
recording their names and thoughts!
Somehow I felt led to study
this little text today!
"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."
First notice that this group "feared" the
Lord! The verb "yare" means to literally fear (in a terror
sense) ... then comes to mean to respect deeply or even to
revere (to hold in reverence)! It is first used in Genesis
3:10 where naked (and now sinful) Adam is afraid of God!
Man will either fear God in the Genesis 3 sense ... or he will
fear God in the Malachi 3 sense!
The verb "spake" is a translation of "dabar,"
a word meaning "to arrange or place in order" ... then meaning
to speak with orderly forethought! (Much like "logeo" in
the New Testament!) This is a causative perfect verb ---
indicating that there is a reason they are talking (God and His
Goodness) and their talking was on-going (habitual)! These folks
talked and fellowshipped and communed again and again over the
things of God! (Notice: No gossip! No
grumbling! No "small" talk either! Just high and
glorious conversation about the dear Lord!)
Then God heard! Two verbs are used to
describe the Lord's listening!
"Qashab" is translated "hearkened." It
means "to prick up the ears." (Like a deer or a dog or
some other little animal does when he hears something!) It
is a word picture for hearing even a faint noise! God
noticed the godly talk of His people!
"Shama" is translated "heard" and means to
listen with special interest and concern!
Both these "listening" verbs are imperfects.
That means God kept on listening and listening! He hears
us when we speak!
The noun "book" (in Hebrew = "sepher") comes
from a verb that means to mark or score as with a tally or a
record. It means to write!
"Remembrance" ("zikron") is derived from a
verb that means "to mark so as to be recognized or remembered!"
The first book mentioned in Scripture is in Genesis 5:1.
It seems to be a book of the living generations of Adam.
So God has several "books" apparently! Notice the "books"
at the future Great White Throne Judgment:
"And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the
opened: and another book
was opened, which is the
book of life:
and the dead were judged out of those things which were written
in the books,
according to their works." Revelation 20:12
"Was written" translates the Hebrew verb "kathab."
It means "to record" or "to enrol or register!" This
writing too is an on-going process. As far as I know, God
is still writing the words of His children! (One source
says the word means "to engrave!")
"Feared" is "yare" again as was used earlier
in the verse. It is defined earlier in this article also.
(Sometime take your Bible and search for the "blessings" God
promises to those who "fear" His great Name! You will be
The last verb is "thought." It
translated "chashab," meaning "to esteem, to calculate, to
imagine, to plan, to think upon!" The verb comes from a
root meaning "to plait, to interpenetrate" as a lady does when
she weaves three or four strands of her hair into a braid!
(Weaving thoughts together to make a whole unit of reasoning!)
Pondering God! Meditating on the things of heaven!
This is a Qal participle here ... suggesting that the thinking
is now a lifestyle with these believers! (The action is
Now, I don't know what this verse does to you
today ... but it sure makes me want to love Him and think of Him
and speak of Him more today than ever!
After all, He is listening ... and writing.
Tomorrow, Lord willing, we shall see what God
plans for these who so fear Him (reverence and love Him)!
I sure have enjoyed studying with you today!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 2 ...
Do you know
what God calls His little children in Malachi 3:17?
It is an
amazing way for our Lord to speak of us who are saved!
"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." Malachi 3:17
What a term that is!
The little pronoun "they" has as its
antecedent the folks back in verse 16 of our Passage. Those who
worship (fear) the Lord and speak of Him often one to another.
They also "think" upon His Name a good bit of the time! Here's
the verse in whole: "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." (Malachi 3:16)
Notice that God claims these people as His
Own! (The only other time in Scripture where God uses those
exact words is in Haggai 2:8 --- "The
silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the
LORD of hosts." God proclaims ownership to some valuable
things! (None more valuable that His "special" saints who love
Him and make Him the very center of their lives!) The "Church"
in Song of Solomon recognized that she was "His!" She said so
in 2:16. "My beloved is mine, and
I am his: he feedeth among the lilies."
God's Name "Lord of Hosts" means Jehovah of
the Army! It is God's fighting Name! It likely here refers to
the multitudes of angels who are at God's very command. What an
army they would be! I found 245 times in the Bible where that
specific Name, "Lord of Hosts," occurs! It often seems to be
used when the Lord's people are growing spiritually cold and
indifferent! It may be one of God's ways to encourage them!
(Or to rebuke and chasten them!)
To "make up" uses the Hebrew verb "asah." It
means to fabricate, to fashion, to do, to produce or to
prepare. The first time in Scripture this verb is used in the
same form as here is Genesis 1:11 where fruit trees are
"yielding" fruit after their kind! When God fashions His jewels
(people) ... be sure that they will reflect the very glory of
God Himself! (As an apple tree produces apples ... so God
produces godliness!) The verbal here is a participle ...
suggesting in this context on-going action! God is STILL
forming His jewels!
"Jewels" is a noun (Hebrew = "segullah")
which means "possession or property or treasure!" It comes from
a root stem that means "to shut up," as one does his treasure!
(Sounds very secure to me!) One teacher says it means "a
private possession, especially prized and personally acquired
and carefully protected!" Glory to God! Our word is translated
"peculiar treasure" in Exodus 19:5 ---
"Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my
covenant, then ye shall be a
unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine."
In Deuteronomy 7:6 it is rendered "special!" Here's
that verse: "For thou art an holy
people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee
to be a special
people unto himself, above all people that are upon the
face of the earth." And in Deuteronomy 14:2 it is
"peculiar!" See what I mean: "For thou
art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD
hath chosen thee to be a
peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that
are upon the earth." Our word has a rich Old
Testament heritage! The Greek term "eis peripoiesis laos" in
the New Testament, 1 Peter 2:9, means the same thing and is
translated "a peculiar people!"
God promises to "spare" His jewels! That
verb (spare) is "chamal" and means "to pity, to have compassion
on, to spare!" (First Bible use ... Exodus 2:6 where Pharaoh's
daughter "had compassion" on little baby Moses! He was a little
"jewel" to God ... and God "spared" him!) Think of the people
in Scripture God has "spared!" Psalm 72:13 ---
"He shall spare the poor and needy, and
shall save the souls of the needy." And Jonah 4:11 ---
"And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are
more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between
their right hand and their left hand; and also much
He spares old sinners ... but God did not
spare His Own Son! Romans 8:32 says: "He
that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
The word "son" is "ben" in Hebrew. It means
a son as the child who will "build" ("banah = build in Hebrew)
one's family! God gave His only Son Jesus ... but the "family"
sure was built through that precious Sacrifice! Jesus has
brought "many sons" to glory! (Hebrews 2:10)
"Serveth" translates a Hebrew verb ("abad")
that means to work like a slave! (Remember how Mark's Gospel
presents Jesus as a Servant of His Father!) That "hardest
working" child often is a favorite!
Both times the verb "spare" occurs in this
last part of our verse ... the same word is chosen by the Holy
Spirit ("chamal"). However there is ONE difference that I can
see. When God "spares" His own ... the verb shows incomplete
action. He is still sparing them yet today! When the man
mentioned in the verse spares his son ... the action is complete
(over with, finished)! That poor man died and could no longer
spare his child! Good news: God will never die! He is
eternal! We are forever "spared!"
What a verse today!
How "blessed" we are as God's little
By the way, don't you suppose that when God
told the Jewish High Priest to wear a Breastplate with 12 jewels
on it ... one representing each of the tribes of Israel ... that
He had in mind our Great High Priest (Jesus) who has each of us
on His heart right now (at the right hand of the Father)! It
looks like we are still God's little "jewels!"
Praise His Name!
We are honored that you have visited us! You
are always welcome here ... with a Bible in you hand! Let's
study God's Word together! There's just no other book like it!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
LESSON 3 ...
Malachi chapter three ends with a description of a group of
godly men (and perhaps ladies too) who are meeting often,
talking of the Lord and thinking upon His Name! They constitute
those who "fear the Lord!"
God is so thrilled with their love and devotion that He promises
them certain blessings! He even calls them "His Jewels!"
He commits Himself to "spare" them ... suggesting eternal life!
Then in Malachi 3:18 He says:
"Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the
wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him
The Jews have largely turned away from the Lord. But the
day is coming when they shall "return!" (That's revival!)
It's the spirit of Lamentations 5:21 which addresses the Lord in
prayer: "Turn thou us unto thee, O
LORD, and we shall be turned; renew our days as of old."
And if they don't "turn" in revival ... judgment day is coming.
They will be turned then (by Almighty God)!
The verb "turn" is "shub" in Hebrew and just means to turn back.
It has a "time" sense that suggests this is a one-time final
revival for God's people. There well may be some Bible
(Hebrew = "raah")
is to see or look at or inspect. Israel had been saying
that it was vain to serve the Lord. (Malachi 3:14 ---
"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?") God here says, No! The day is coming
when all shall see the difference (the rewards) given for
serving the dear Lord!
"Righteous" (meaning just with God or straight before God) and
"wicked" (meaning violently abusive and ungodly) are the two
classes of people on earth! Saved or lost! Spiritually
alive or dead! Going to Heaven or Hell!
But look at the parallel statements between those who serve God
and those who don't! The implication is that if you are
righteous ... you WILL serve the Lord! (I believe so too!)
The verb "serve" is "abad" in Hebrew and means to work as a
slave! To be a (willing) bondslave! However, there
is one major distinction between the two appearances of the verb
"serveth" here! The first time it is a participle ...
allowing us to believe that likely the God fearers serve the
Lord constantly. (And are still doing so!) However
the ungodly who "serveth" the Lord not ... are described by a
"perfect" verb meaning that their opportunity for serving God
has ended! It's too late for them now!
This may imply exactly what Revelation 22:3 teaches!
"And there shall be no more curse: but the
throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants
shall serve him." Through all of eternity we
Believers are still going to get to "serve" our dear Lord!
Praise His Name!
We had better get used to meeting in His Name down here on
earth! And accustomed to talking about Him in praise and
worship! And thinking (meditating) on Him as well!
We are certainly going to be doing a lot of that in Heaven for
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell