They will certainly become to Jehovah people presenting a gift offering in righteousness.—Mal. 3:3.
Malachi 3:1-3 describes the time—from 1914 to early 1919—when the anointed “sons of Levi” would undergo a period of refinement. During that time, Jehovah God, “the true Lord,” accompanied by Jesus Christ, “the messenger of the covenant,” came to the spiritual temple to inspect those serving there. After receiving needed discipline, Jehovah’s cleansed people were ready to take up a further assignment of service. In 1919, a “faithful and discreet slave” was appointed to provide spiritual food to the household of faith. (Matt. 24:45) God’s people were now free of the influence of Babylon the Great. Since that time, by Jehovah’s undeserved kindness, his people have constantly been growing in knowledge of God’s will and in love for their heavenly Father. How grateful they are for his blessing! w16.11 5:14
“Test me out, please, . . .” Jehovah of armies says, “to see whether I will not open to you the floodgates of the heavens and pour out on you a blessing until there is nothing lacking.”—Mal. 3:10.
We love Jehovah “because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) As one expression of his tender love, Jehovah has taken the initiative to bless his loyal servants. The more we love our God, the stronger our faith becomes, not only that he exists, but that he unfailingly rewards those whom he loves. (Heb. 11:6) Being a rewarder is an integral part of who Jehovah is and what he does. Our faith is not complete unless we are firmly convinced that God will reward those who earnestly seek him, for “faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for.” (Heb. 11:1) Yes, faith involves the certain expectation of God’s promised blessings. As shown in today’s text, Jehovah invites us to reach out for his blessing. We show our deep appreciation and gratitude when we accept Jehovah’s generous offer. w16.12 4:1-3
Setting the mind on the flesh means death.—Rom. 8:6.
After serving God for years, a Christian could begin to set his or her mind on the things of the flesh. That does not refer to a Christian who occasionally thinks about food, employment, recreation, or even romance. Those are aspects of life for the average servant of God. Jesus enjoyed food, and he fed others. He saw the need for refreshment. And Paul wrote about the proper place for passion or intimacy within marriage. The Greek word that Paul used means “to set one’s mind or heart upon something, to employ one’s faculty for thoughtful planning, w[ith] the emphasis upon the underlying disposition or attitude.” Those who live according to the flesh allow their life course to be determined basically by their sinful human nature. One scholar says about that word at Romans 8:5: “They set their minds on—are most deeply interested in, constantly talk about, engage and glory in—the things pertaining to the flesh.” w16.12 2:5, 9, 10