Malachi 3:17 (ESV) … “They shall be mine, says the Lord of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him.”
Malachi called the people to turn from their spiritual apathy and correct their wrong attitudes about worship by trusting God with genuine faith as their living Lord. This included honoring the Lord’s name with pure offerings, being faithful to covenants made with fellow believers, especially marriage covenants, and signifying their repentance with tithes.
There was a group of true believers in this remnant, and they remained faithful to the Lord. They feared the Lord, which means they held Him in awe and worshiped Him as the Lord Almighty. They met together, not to complain but to encourage and edify each other. They spoke about the Lord and they weren’t afraid for Him to hear what they were saying!
Their assembly probably wasn’t a large one, and they may have thought that very little was happening because they met and worshiped, but God was paying attention and keeping a record of their words. Their neighbors may have laughed at them, but God was pleased with them. They weren’t wasting their time because they were investing in eternity.
God claimed them as His own, and God promised to spare them in the future judgment when everybody would see that there is a difference between the righteous and the wicked and that this difference is important.
One of the sins of the priests was that they failed to make the distinction between the way of holiness and the way of sin. To them, one sacrifice was just as good as another, yet they were supposed to teach the people “the difference between the holy and the common, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean” (Ezek. 44:23).
Many of God’s faithful servants become discouraged because the times are difficult, the crowds are small, and their work seems to be unappreciated. People who aren’t really walking with the Lord seem to be getting more attention than are the faithful servants. But the day will come when God will reveal “His jewels” (“treasured possession,” niv; see Ex. 19:5; Deut. 7:6), and then the faithful will receive their reward. Every discouraged servant of God needs to read and ponder 1 Corinthians 4:1–5