Does God issue any commands?
- God commanded the people to return unto Him.
Does God make any promises?
- God promised that if the people returned unto Him He would also return unto them.
- If the people would bring their tithes into the storehouse God would open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (I feel the fulfillment of this promise myself every time I reorganize and donate the excess to a charitable organization.)
- God promised if people would return to Him and tithe He would rebuke the devourer and also protect the crops. All nations would call Israel blessed and a delightful land because of her blessings.
- God keeps a book of remembrance of those who fear Him and speak often one to another about Him. (This reminds me of the book of remembrance Ahasuerus kept where Mordecai's good deed was written. It foreshadowed the downfall of the evil Haman and the rising of the righteous Mordecai. Can God's book of remembrance be any less significant?!) God promised that those whose deeds are kept in His book of remembrance shall be His on the day when He makes up His jewels. This will lead to discerning between the righteous and the wicked.
Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
- Verse 1 is Jesus talking about His forerunner, John the Baptist, and His own incarnation. He says, "Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts. Obviously, this is the LORD talking here (Jehovah) but since the speaker claims that the messenger would come "before me" this is Jesus speaking. That means Jesus is also the LORD of hosts. There is no way around it: Jesus claimed to be Deity in both testaments!
- Jesus is like a refiner's fire and fuller's soap. (Remember the old hymn? "Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow!")
- Jesus shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver and shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
- Jesus is the judge of all the unrighteous (such as are listed in verse 5).
Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
- The last few verses imply a time of rehearsing the deeds written in God's book of remembrance. This book will lead to discerning between the righteous and the wicked.