Some Thoughts on Divine Fellowship
By Dean E. Boelt
"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 thought upon His Name" (Mal. 3:16; cf. w. 17-18; ch. 4:1-3).
In these texts is set forth the present experience of those who know, fear, and walk with God, and that of the time to come. Though this spiritual phenomenon has become exceeding rare in our day, yet here and there throughout the earth can be found such ones as are set forth in the Malachi text.
Now, in their knowledge and reverence of God, they speak "often one to another" of the things pertaining to Him and His kingdom. (A divine criterion that reveals the typical conversations of today's churchmen as grossly deficient.)
It is well to note that God is sensitive to that spiritual attitude and procedure. "The Lord hearkened and heard" the conversations that were centered on Himself. It will be recalled that it was as the two on the road to Emmaus talked of the occurrences associated with Jesus' crucifixion that He Himself "drew near," and ultimately revealed Himself to them (Lk. 24:13-26).
"And a book of remembrance was written before Him," the Malachi text continues. That was nothing other than "the book of life," or of "the living," referred to in Revelation 20:12, 15 and Psalm 69:28. It was and is the register of those who are "alive unto God" through Christ (Rom. 6:11). Only those whose names are inscribed therein will be spared by God in the eternal judgment, as both Malachi 3:17 and Revelation 20:15 declare.
Meanwhile, the enlivened ones have a blessed foretaste of the consummate experience in the eternal world. The "Sun of righteousness," the "Dayspring from on high" of Zacharias' prophecy (Lk. 1:78), and the "Day Star" referred to by Peter (II Pet. 1:19), which is none other, of course, than Christ the Lord, has risen in their hearts. That is the reason for their delight in the things of God (Ps. 1:2), and their close fellowship with one another. So the Apostle John: "If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another" (I Jn. 1:7). Obviously, that fellowship can be had only by those who are living and walking in the light (cf. II Cor. 6:14-16).
The "newness of life" and vigor of spirit that result from such Divine fellowship is to be noted, as it is thoroughly delighted in by those who have it. They "shall go forth leaping like calves from the stall," says the Malachi passage (ch. 4:2, RSV), and "shall tread down the wicked" (v. 3). Thus, do "they that wait upon the Lord," "renew their strength," "mount up with wings as eagles," "run and not be weary," and "walk and not faint" (Isa. 40:28-31). Having "tasted of the heavenly gift," they live and serve God, "not under the old written code, but in the new life of the Spirit" (Rom. 7:6, RSV; Heb. 6:4-5).
Seeing that this is the blessing and glory of "the Sun of righteousness" and the "healing" that is in His "wings" (Mai. 4:2), let us give diligence, as the Apostle urges, That is, to seek and obtain grace whereby we may both know and "serve God acceptably" (Heb. 12:28).