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Verses 16-17

Malachi 3:16-17. Then When contempt of God was grown to such a height; they that feared the Lord Those that were truly religious, that knew God’s judgments to be a great deep, and that his ways are as high above our ways as heaven is above the earth; spake often one to another Conversed together about spiritual things the more frequently: for though it is not said what was the subject of their conversation with each other, yet we have reason to believe it was as good concerning God and his providence as the discourse of the wicked was evil. They spake what was right concerning God’s justice and mercy, his holiness, forbearance, and long-suffering, his wisdom and equity in his government of the world in general, and of his church and the members of it in particular. And by their pious discourse they endeavoured to arm each other against the impressions which such wicked suggestions as those above mentioned might otherwise have made upon their minds; and to confirm one another in piety and virtue. And the Lord hearkened and heard Took a special notice of what these pious persons did and said. And a book of remembrance was written It was as safely laid up in his memory as if it had been entered into a register, in order to be produced at the day of judgment to their praise and honour: see the margin. The words are a beautiful allusion to the records kept by kings, Esther 6:1. And they shall be mine It shall appear how dear they are to me, when the time comes in which I shall separate the precious from the vile, the vessels of honour from those of dishonour, 2 Timothy 2:20. In the day of the execution of my judgments they shall be distinguished and preserved safe, as choice jewels are wont to be. And I will spare them as a man spareth his own son, &c. They shall be spared, pitied, and loved, and I will preserve them from those calamities which shall fall upon the wicked and unbelieving, with the same tenderness which a father shows to a dutiful son. The period especially referred to may be the Roman war under Titus. When God should utterly cut off the Jewish Church and nation for their infidelity, the remnant among them, that should be found to believe his word, and having waited for the Messiah, the consolation of Israel, should welcome him when he came; these, being admitted into the Christian Church, should become a peculiar people to God, and God would take care of them, that they should not perish with the unbelievers, but that they should be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger against that nation. These pious ones should have all the glorious privileges of God’s Israel appropriated to them, and centring in them. They should be a peculiar treasure unto him, when the rest were rejected; should be vessels of mercy and honour when the rest should be made vessels of wrath and dishonour. This, however, is very applicable to all the faithful people of God, and the distinction he will put between them and others, in the great day of final accounts.

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