My covenant with him was one of life and peace, and I gave them to him. It was a covenant of fear, and he feared me. He stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way. You have caused many to stumble by your instruction. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts,Malachi 2:5-8
There is a great contrast between those who honor the LORD and those who do not and the impact of both kinds of lives also impacts others.
In the passage above Malachi describes the kind of l life led by a leader who honored and feared God.
- He stood in awe of my name.
- True instruction was in his mouth.
- No wrong was found on his lips.
- He walked with me in peace and uprightness
- He turned many from iniquity
That’s a pretty good list I think most of us would be pleased to described in that way, but for the people of Malachi’s day, the list was less positive.
- You have turned aside from the way.
- You have caused many to stumble by your instruction.
- You have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts
As I read through this passage, I was most troubled by the idea that my failure could cause others to stumble if I am some how unfaithful. It is one thing to turn away from the LORD myself, but how terrible would my impact be on others? I can think of some real life examples, how about you?
It reminds me of this clear warning of Jesus in John 10:10
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”