“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)
I was reading something recently by C.H. Spurgeon on a completely different subject, but in his discourse, he cited this verse in Malachai, commenting:
“Christians grow rich by the exchange of spiritual commodities; and I am afraid some Christians are very poor because they do not engage in the spiritual bartering with one another. (‘They that feared the Lord spake often one to another…’ Mal.3:16).”
The whole idea of “I’ll trade you this blessing for that blessing, or this truth for that truth” made me smile and thank the Lord again for the all-sufficiency of His Word to navigate the Christian life. God meant for His children to congregate (Heb. 10:25) and communicate. Christianity was never meant to be a solitary life. God may draw us aside from time to time for personal business that takes more than our regular times of fellowship with Him; but these are the exception, not the rule. I find no monks or hermits mentioned in Paul’s Epistles to New Testament saints. On the contrary, he was happy to name companions in the Faith who labored with him, telling of their encouragement, and His joy when he was reunited with them.
The verse says those who feared the Lord spoke “often one to another.” They were not speaking to God, yet the verse goes on to say, “…the Lord hearkened, and heard it…” He didn’t just happen to overhear their conversation; He made a point of listening in. They may not have been talking to Him, but they were talking about Him. God is not only interested in the things we say to Him, but the things we say about Him, as well. As a matter of fact, not only does He listen, He takes note of them. The verse goes on to say, He has them written down in a “book of remembrance.” I’m sure the God of the Eternal Mind has no need to be reminded of anything, but it does tell us what He considers worth remembering.
The two truths I take away from this precious verse today are these. First, I need you, my friend, as someone with whom I can exchange the things of the Lord, especially the wonder and power His mighty name. I need you to remind me that in these days of uncertainty and apostasy, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it and is safe” (Prov. 18:10). And by the grace of God, I’ll encourage you with words like “O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him” (Psl. 34”9). And together we’ll roust the enemy and strengthen one another in the Faith.
Second, I need to remember, not only can I gain the attention of my Heavenly Father by going to Him personally, but also by making mention of Him to others. He loves (and deserves) to be praised, not only to His face, but also “behind His back.” He’s listening in every time His name is magnified. Oh, may His holy name be ever and often on my lips is my prayer today!