Summary: The Scripture text mentions a group of people that God took special notice of, and then tells what they were doing that caused God to look upon them so favorably.
Introduction: I am going to speak on the subject," Getting God's Gracious
Attention." My text is found in the book of Malachi, the third chapter, verses
sixteen and seventeen.
I am going to show you how to live a life that find's favor with God. The kind of
life that makes God proud of you! We, as parents, love all of our children, but
they may not all live a life we can be proud of. I think God was beaming with
pride, when he said; "Have you seen my servant Job, that there is none like him
in all the earth?" (Job 1:8). Is God proud of you? Would you like to be the object
of His special attention? Would you like knowing that you are, "the apple of God's
Let's examine what these people were doing, that made them so special to God.
I. THEY FEARED GOD. (Vs. 16)
Please listen carefully while I share some background information concerning
our text. Malachi lived after the time of Ezra and Nehemiah. At this time, the
Jew's had returned from Babylon, the Temple had been rebuilt. The walls around
Jerusalem were complete. All was well, except for the sad fact that the people
had, once again, drifted into a backslidden spiritual condition. The priest's were
living sinfully as well. Jewish men were divorcing their Jewish wives and
marring heathen women. Many were worshiping idols and engaging in sexual
orgies associated with the worship ceremonies. Although, the Law of God was,
again, being ignored, and ungodliness, worldliness, and brazen sin were on
every side; there was a remnant who maintained their integrity and their zeal
to serve the Holy God. No wonder God took special notice of them!
So, what was this select group of people doing that attracted God's gracious
attention? First of all, our text states that they feared God. The word 'fear', as
is in the text, mean's 'reverence.' It is impossible to properly reverence God
without respecting His Word. These people honored and heeded God's Word.
Scripture tells us that, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word became
flesh, dwelt among men, and that Word, was God." (John 1) So it is clear that
it is impossible to reverence God and pay little regard to His Word.
These people were demonstrating their reverence to God by being obedient
to His Word(Law). In Malachi's time the priest's were offering sacrifices that
were not acceptable to God. It was a direct violation of His Law. The people
were bringing the blemished and puny animals from their herd as sacrifices.
They were unwilling to offer God their best. God's Law stated that the people
were to offer their very best. This bunch did not fear God. Their worship was
insincere. They had reduced the worship of God to cold, form and ritual. This
group was only 'going through the motions'.
Many professing Christian's belong to this group. They never give to God, their
best. Their experience with God is not vibrant. They have plenty of religion, but
God has none of them! We will never become the object of God's gracious
attention until we give Him our best. Jesus illustrated this point very clearly when
He said to the Rich Young Ruler, "One thing you are lacking.." Jesus wanted
all of him, not just part of him. Jesus had many followers, but only three of them
received His special attention.
Can you truthfully say, "I give God my best." Now that's a mouth full! Does God get
your best when it comes to your prayer life? What about your finances? How
about your service? If you are a teacher in the church, are you the best you could
be? Whatever our service to God, If we truly reverence Him, we will give to Him,
'The Best', and nothing less.
This small group of God loving, God fearing people, gave Him their very best.
And God smiled upon them. God heard and answered their prayers, and blessed
their lives. When we give our best to God we will get God's gracious attention.
( ILL) C. H. Spurgeon once said something very close to this:
"I want to live so that every time I look up to God and say; "I love you."
He will look down at me and say; "I know it Spurgeon, I know it."
II. THEY THOUGHT UPON HIS NAME ( v. 16 )
In other words, they meditated upon the Lord. God was constantly in their
thoughts, and this brought comfort to their souls and peace to their minds.
Although they lived in troublesome times, their generation was exceedingly
wicked, and godly people were a minority. They kept their minds focused God-
ward. I believe they meditated continually upon God's precious promises.
1. God's promise to bless them.