Malachi 3:16-18, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not.”
Reading from the Scripture of all that God has spared and not spared, will and will not spare, is to read a message of divine forbearance and love. Some of the Hebrew words translated “spare” express “to have compassion on, to pity, commiserate.” Others mean to “restrain, refrain, preserve, hold back, withhold, (generally) to forego inflicting the retribution designed.” May it ever be remembered and touch our hearts, that the righteous retribution designed for my sin (the sin of the whole world) was poured without measure upon God’s dear Son, our holy Savior and lovely Lord.
God had one beloved Son that fully served Him. This Son could say, “I do always the things that please my Father.” It seems very clear from these Scriptures that some sons are going to get in harmony with Him; that there are those who once “turned every one to his own way,” but the Lord “laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Some of those sons will set on twelve thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Then there are some other sons that will have first judged themselves and then will judge the angels and the world.
Let us note who it is that He intends to spare. “My jewels” – those of His finding, that have undergone the grinding, that He will set in a permanent prominent place. “They shall be mine,” – These are those whose thoughts please Him as well as their words. God is pleased with those that think of Him and speak often to one another about Him and His Son. Oh yes, He does take notice of what we say. He records, remembers and rewards.
We realize as we come to know the Lord in His Word, that there is so very very much that He has and is sparing us from. There is yet far more in the future. Only eternity will tell it all. There are many sons that the heavenly Father has kept. It is a joy to consider all that He has preserved us for as well as from.
“THE ANGELS THAT SINNED” – For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;” II Peter 2:4. Peter seems to be giving strength to the argument that God was going to judge false prophets and false teachers by pointing out the destiny of those beautiful, heavenly creatures that sinned. Jude 6 confirms that those lovely beings “kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” We should know that God always does right; He is consistent with His holy law and His holy nature; He judges righteously.
“THE OLD WORLD” – “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;” II Peter 2:5. The righteous Judge determines what and where He will judge and spare, and His judgment is always fair. The saints will testify in eternity, “true and righteous are his judgments” – Rev. 19:2 & 16:7.
“SODOM AND GOMORRAH” – We read that those cities, “giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire” Jude 7. God turning those cities “into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked. (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:” II Pet. 2:6-9.
We read in Romans 1:27 of some of God’s judgment against “going after strange flesh,” and it seems that in Scripture, God often allows the punishment to fit the sin. We are aware that in every age and generation, the multiplied temptations seems to get stronger. Yet the fact remains true, God does know how to deliver us all out of temptation, in whatever form it takes. PRAISE GOD!
THE NATURAL BRANCHES – ISRAEL – “I will therefore put you in remembrance…how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” Jude 5. “Boast not against the branches, But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee:” Rom. 11:18-21. Here we read of God’s judgment of His own chosen people, spoken of as the “natural branches” and the “wild olive tree” as the represented Gentile nations. We Gentile nations are warned against the national pride of the national condemnation of Israel. Some in the past have referred to them as Christ-killers. But “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” All humanity is guilty of our Lord Jesus Christ’s death.
HIS OWN SON – “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yes rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” – Rom. 8:31-34.
Oh what a precious, powerful portion of Scripture! Herein lies the beauty of grace divine. This is a fact so immense, it is mind boggling to say the least. When we think of all that God did not spare: the Angels, the world before the flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the “natural branches” from, and then down to this choice, HIS OWN SON, the holy, only undefiled, altogether lovely.Son of His love. In accord with His own law and government, He could not spare Him and spare us also. The Son of His greatest joy, His uttermost delight, that always please the Father in all things, was not withheld, “But delivered Him up for us all.”
“God so loved…that he gave his only begotten Son.” We think of how this was expressed in type with Abraham and Isaac. God told Abraham, “Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest…and offer him there.” Now when Abraham had obeyed and was about to complete his task, God said, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad…seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me” Gen. 22:2,12. Isaac was Abraham’s most prize possession, his most treasured treasure. In Isaac were contained all the promised blessings, the promised heir, yet he was not withheld. What a beautiful type!
God’s full inheritance for us is His beloved Son. He is the appointed and anointed heir of all things, so what more, what else, what greater gift could God give. “With Him” all things are freely ours. Yet the only righteous and holy bases for such giving and forgiving, rested upon the full penalty being paid for our sin.
Just think of it, beloved, God spared not His own Son. The entire punishment for our sin, the immeasurable, uttermost anger, the wrath of divine judgment and justice was totally poured out on God’s beloved Son. “Surely he hath borne nor griefs, and carried our sorrow: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all” – Isa. 53:4-6.
Jesus bore it all alone; with the sin of the whole world put to His account, He became poor, made sin, that we might be made righteous and eternally rich.
What are we saying to these things in word and deed? Shall we not speak to one another about Him who is altogether lovely? What are we withholding from Him? What are we sparing? Do we not owe Him our whole being our entire life? Thank God for the life that we have to give.