“But you have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law.” (2:8a)
The people of Israel had lost their first love for the Lord. The offerings they brought were corrupt and lacking. And the spiritual leaders of the land not only permitted these things, but led the parade away from God. With the principle in mind of “to whom much is given, from him much will be required” (Luke 12:48) the Lord sharply confronts the priests. He tells them He will curse them and their blessings, rebuke their descendents, and even spread refuse on their faces. (How’s that for sloppy agape?)
The Lord reminds the priest of that day of His covenant with Levi. “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace…” (2:5) In return Levi was fearful and reverent of the Lord. “The law of truth was in his mouth, and injustice was not found on his lips. He walked with Me in peace and equity, and turned many away from iniquity.” (v.6) Those priests taught the people the word of God as they were the messengers of the Lord of hosts. (v.7) But here, these priests were teaching corruptible words and causing many to stumble. (v.8)
The Apostle Peter tells believers “…you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (I Peter 2:9-10) The law of truth is now in our mouths. Justice is now to be on our lips. Peace and equity is now our walk. We are now the messengers of the Lord of hosts. We now lead people from stumbling to the sure foundation. But are we doing these things? Are we like the faithful Levites or are we like the priests of Malachi’s day?
Much of the church in our day has departed from the Way and caused many to stumble. Apostasy is rife and our culture and world are suffering greatly because it is so. Compromise and blind tolerance and deliberate ambiguity are the refuse of our day to the harm of so many who desperately need the inspiration, the inerrancy, the absolutes, and the authority of God’s word.
You, me, all believers, are priests. But what kind of priests?
Next time: (Part 4 – Fidelity)