WALKING WITH GOD
Gracious Lord, awaken me to the exciting adventure of being guided by you in my understanding.
Read MALACHI 2:1-9
Additional Warning to the Priests
2 “And now, you priests, this warning is for you. 2 If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name,” says the Lord Almighty, “I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.
3 “Because of you I will rebuke your descendants[a]; I will smear on your faces the dung from your festival sacrifices, and you will be carried off with it. 4 And you will know that I have sent you this warning so that my covenant with Levi may continue,” says the Lord Almighty. 5 “My covenant was with him, a covenant of life and peace, and I gave them to him; this called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. 6 True instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin.
7 “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty and people seek instruction from his mouth. 8 But you have turned from the way and by your teaching have caused many to stumble; you have violated the covenant with Levi,” says the Lord Almighty. 9 “So I have caused you to be despised and humiliated before all the people, because you have not followed my ways but have shown partiality in matters of the law.”
- Malachi 2:3 Or will blight your grain
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWalking with God describes an intimate relationship, sustaining us for challenges ahead. I wonder how closely you’re walking with God today.
Being a spiritual leader comes with a burden of responsibility. Commissioned to provide biblical teaching, moral guidance, and spiritual hope, walking closely with God and listening to him are critical in sustaining wise and effective leadership (v 2).
Despite God’s covenant with Levi, the tribe set aside for priestly duties (Numbers 1:47–53), the treachery of these leaders is dramatically exposed by God (vs 1–3); rather than teaching the truth, and living out this truth, they have violated the covenant, which promises both life and peace, causing many to stumble. Not only have these leaders gone their own way, but tragically have caused others to become unfaithful, disloyal, rejecting the path set out by God (v 8). How easy it can be to deceive ourselves that our choices will cause no harm.
God reminds his people of the foundations which others have given them for true spiritual leadership (vs 5,6). Then he sets out some principles for their behavior and words: truth and upright living are outworkings of this walk with God; their example will keep others from going wrong (v 7). Whatever part we play in leading others spiritually (maybe as a friend, a parent, in a ministry in our church), how closely are we walking with our God? Do our words and lives turn others toward him – or away from him?
Our spiritual leaders need our prayers that they will walk with God, staying close to him.
Show me Lord Jesus, how to use what I have – time, talents, money – in practical ways that communicate your love for others.
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