Malachi 3:16 — The Book of Remembrance
Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name.
I love books. Books are amazing things. Each of us doubtlessly own many books on all sorts of topics. Our technological age has removed the necessity of having a book in the traditional book form. As a matter of fact, entire volumes of books may be stored on your home computer. I possess two cd-roms which contain hundreds of volumes of books. One disk contains an entire commentary set which extends over 22,000 pages! The other disk contains over 500 volumes. I have quite a few books on my tablet computer. Despite the technology which allows us to own an entire library in an extremely small space, I still like having the hard copy book open in front of me.
Why are books so amazing? The written word endures. Words written hundreds of years ago, like the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States, have a direct bearing on how you and I live today. The words of those 200 year old documents still possess power today. The written word has longevity and power. God made no mistake when he chose the medium of the written word to reveal to you and me His glorious nature and redemptive plan for mankind.
Malachi 3:16 and its context describes for us the few people of Israel who were faithful to Jehovah. The people who feared Jehovah spoke of Him to each other. God heard their speech and remembered them in a book. You must remember God in your speech, and God will remember you.
God pays close attention to those who speak lovingly of Him. Verse sixteen says that the Lord gave attention. Have you ever cupped your hand to your ear so that you could hear better? When Jehovah heard His people speak of Him, He turned His ear so that He could hear better.
Obviously, God has no ears, and His hearing is perfect. What does it mean that God turned His ears? God gave special attention to the words that were spoken by His people. God wrote what He heard in His book of remembrance.
The book of remembrance is not a literal book in the sense that God wrote names in the book. Because the written word has such lasting power, the book symbolizes the faithfulness of God’s remembrance.
In like manner, when God looks on a believer through the shed blood of Christ, that person will not be forgotten by God. He need not fear whether or not he will enter heaven when he dies. He need not fear whether he maintains his salvation. God has written that person in the book of His remembrance, and God will not forget. In order for God to forget, He would have to cease being God. How? Forgetting implies a change, and God cannot change. If you have been accepted in Christ, you will not be forgotten by God’s unchangeable memory.
What are your thoughts on this verse?
What other books are mentioned in the Bible?
How closely does God listen when He hears His people speak of Him and to Him?
What does it mean that God writes the names of His people in a book?