Malachi 2: Helping Not Hindering
Malachi 2 is a message from God through Malachi to the priests of Israel. They quite frankly were not doing their job, and even though the tribe of Levi was supposed to be the priestly tribe, they had gone away from God.
Mal 2:4 And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:5 My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name.
Mal 2:6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity.
Mal 2:7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
I find a few things to talk about here. When God made a covenant with Levi, it was a good thing for everyone involved. God promised him life and peace in return for honor. It sounds quite a bit like how people in general ought to relate to God. God will take care of us if we are living our lives in the right way.
What made the priests different was that they were supposed to be the keepers of the Law. They were supposed to be the ones to teach the rest of the people how to follow God. They were supposed to be able to not only live their lives in a Godly way, but their job was also to help point people towards that lifestyle. In verse six, we notice that Levi did that. Many did turn away from iniquity because of the teaching of Levi.
The problem was of course that now they were causing many people to stumble over the law. They were not helping people follow it, but they were actually encouraging violation. Not surprisingly, God was not thrilled about that.
I was thinking about the priests here, and I was also thinking about a kind of parallel although I admit it is not perfect. In the world today, we are supposed to do what the priests did at least in the first regard. We’re supposed to live our lives in the way that God wants us to. We are also supposed to help people find God. We are not necessarily the keepers of the Law in the sense that the priests were, but the obligation is similar. We’re supposed to be helping people rather than causing them to stumble. We should not be encouraging sin.
I suppose that’s a twofold challenge. First, we need to live like God wants us to, and we then need to help other people around us.