Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Jewels Among Stout Thorns

Date: PM
Text: Malachi 3:13-18
Psalters: 171, 402, 209, 91
Series: Malachi
  1. The thorns.
    1. The people, in general, are still unchanged spiritually.
      1. This book speaks of an on-going exchange between the prophet of God and the people.
      2. Our text contains the last of seven questions the church raises to challenge God’s charges of sin.
    2. The words of church as a whole were “stout,” i.e., strong, hard, resolute.
      1. They had spoken strongly against God before, but now it comes out even more forcefully.
      2. They bring two charges against God and His just ways of working.
      3. They assumed (wrongly) that grace is in things.
      4. This was the highest insult (“stout words”) they could speak against God, resulting in God’s severe judgment on them.
    3. In reality they presented spiritual empty acts of service which were without the needed ingredient of humility.
  2. But God’s words through Malachi do bear positive fruit (Malachi 3:16,17).
    1. There is always a remnant, as Noah, the judges, the 7,000 of Elijah’s day.
    2. “A book of remembrance was written.”
      1. It records names and deeds so they can be remembered.
      2. “Written before him,” i.e, before God: by His direction so that He will remember them and their deeds.
    3. This was to keep an accurate account of their repentance and of their real observance of God’s commandments.
      1. That they “spake often one to another” was the remarkable achievements which were recorded.
      2. And recorded what they spoke about: that “they feared Jehovah” and “thought upon His name.”
      3. This shows how remarkable in God’s eyes is such reverent talking about Jehovah.
  3. God keeps a record, for His will give a response in the judgment day of both the righteous and the wicked.
    1. Then God will reveal what He always knows, viz, the difference between the righteous (serving) and the wicked.
    2. In that day God will punish the wicked who did not serve Him.
    3. Positively, His book was written before Him “for them,” i.e., it shall be shown that they are His jewels.