Summary: God carefully listens to our conversations. Do we esteem His name as we shoul? If we do, He will declare us to be His very own special possession.
The Day God Eavesdropped
AT THE TIME OF THE WRITING OF MALACHI, the nation of Israel had strayed far from God. Those were dark days indeed. Sin abounded. Unbelief prevailed. The majority of people went their own way, giving little thought to the will of God or the ways of God. They laughed at the prophets and showed utter contempt for the law of God.
Does all this sound strikingly familiar? Malachi could be writing to our generation. That’s a real testimony to the timelessness of the Bible. It is always up-to-date and relevant.
But even in the midst of all this darkness, God had a people—a remnant! He always does. He had a people who revered His name and sought to do His will. As they saw the spiritual darkness of their day, they drew closer together for mutual support and encouragement. There were not many of them, but they were committed to remaining faithful to God, no matter what. They would meet in a secret place to encourage and cheer each other and find fellowship with one another—forerunners of the underground church.
What specifically went on in those meetings? According to verse 16, they TALKED with each other about the Lord because they feared Him, that is, they were in awe of God.
o He was on their minds.
o He was the center of their attention
o He was the topic of their conversation
o Everything they said and did was built around the person of God
Then Malachi tells us how God reacted to all of this:
o He gave ATTENTION to what was transpiring
o He LISTENED very carefully
o He EAVESDROPPED!
o He STRAINED TO HEAR their conversation—like that of a parent listening to the noises of a new-born baby in the night.
o He SHUSHED THE ANGELS that He might hear. He told David to stop playing his harp for a moment.
Have you ever eavesdropped on anyone? I have. I remember listening to my parents discuss Christmas gifts as a little boy—straining to hear their conversation, through the register in my sister’s bedroom. It was right above the kitchen, where most of these kinds of conversations took place.
In Malachi’s day, when a spiritual awakening was so needed, thanks be to God, a few people thought about God’s name. They talked about Him, revered Him, loved Him and met to discuss His wonderful ways. And as they did, God eavesdropped. He tuned in to their frequency. He strained to hear their remarks. I don’t know whether they sang or not, but I’m sure it was like music to His ears.
Malachi tells us that the Lord enjoyed it so much that He had it written down in a book! That’s what the Lord does. He listens to our conversations, our prayers, our testimonies. And if they are all about Him, He calls on an angel to take notes—to have a permanent record. And I believe He delights in it. He writes down what was said and who said it!
Think about it for a moment.
o Kings were making edicts,
o Generals were giving orders,
o Judges were speaking in court,
o Politicians were making speeches,
But God was paying them no mind. His ears were tuned to a handful of faithful followers.
In verse 27, God is saying, “In that day when I make up my jewels, I’m going to remember that crowd and spare them.” The word jewel is the Hebrew word segula and means, “God’s very own special possession or treasure.”
Are you one of God’s segula? Is He paying special attention to what you say because your life is centered in Him? This is far more than just being saved. There are Christians and then there are consecrated Christians whose sole aim in life is to do the will of God, no matter how hard.
How does one became a part of God’s very own special possession? Let’s look a little more carefully at this small group meeting.
1. They Remained True to God
It wasn’t easy to stay faithful to God. It never is. The days were dark. Corruption was everywhere. Hypocrisy abounded. Evil ruled the day. But God had a remnant.
This remnant said, “Let the world curse God; we will praise Him.” They stood for righteousness in a wicked environment. They worshipped regularly. They endured the ridicule of family and friends. And God looked down on this group of faithful ones and smiled. He said, “They are going to be my special possession.”
Illus.: “The General Took His Stand”
Fredrick the Great of Germany, was a scoffer, but his great general, Von Zealand, was a devout Christian. One day at a gathering, the king was making coarse jokes about Jesus and the whole palace was ringing with laughter. Von Zealand arose stiffly and said, “Your Majesty, you know I have not feared death. I have fought and won 38 battles for you and my country. I am an old man now. Soon I will go to be with the One who saved me from sin—the very One you are blaspheming against.” With trembling voice, King Fredrick replied, “General Von Zealand, I beg your pardon; I beg your pardon!” And the gathering quickly dispersed quietly.