What is the book of remembrance?

The book of remembrance is mentioned specifically in Malachi:
“Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD gave attention and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who esteem His name. ‘They will be Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘on the day that I prepare My own possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him. So, you will again distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve Him.’” (Malachi 3:16–18).

Here, the prophet Malachi encourages those who are endeavoring to do what is right with the thought that God ‘remembers’ the devoted service of His people (Dan. 7:10). While the Lord does not need a written account to keep track of human actions, this is a metaphor to help us understand His faithfulness to men (Mark 4:33). The Jewish people were familiar with this sort of metaphor. For example, in the book of Esther the Babylonian king kept record of the good deeds of his subjects that he may remember to reward them accordingly (Esther 6:1–3).

The Lord wants us to know that every good deed doesn’t go unnoticed by Him (Matthew 10:42; Mark 9:41; Luke 6:23; Revelation 22:12). Jesus urged the believers to store up treasures of good works in heaven (Matthew 6:20) as everyone is going to give account for all their actions whether good or bad at the Judgement (2 Corinthians 5:10).

In addition to the book of remembrance, there are other books. There is the book of the living, also known as the book of life. This is where the names of those who shall inherit eternal life are recorded (Exodus 32:32; Psalm 69:28; Revelation 13:8; 20:15).

There is also the book of records which references all one’s deeds for the judgment (Revelation 20:12; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Isaiah 65:6, 7).

Jesus encourages us to stay faithful to Him, even under trying circumstances, reassuring His faithful followers to “rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20). Let us work with the Lord in keeping our names there.


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