In Order. Malachi 1 - 4.
What do you think God would have to say about you? The way you live, act, think, or treat others?
In the book of Malachi, the Lord brings up the example of a priest named Levi. Take a look at what God had to say about this man in Malachi 2:5-6.
“5 My covenant was with him [Levi], 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.”
Wow! How incredible is that! The God of the universe just said some really, really nice things about this guy! Can you imagine the Creator of life itself speaking such amazing things about you? Wouldn’t that be incredible!? Let’s break these verses down and look a little deeper.
The first thing God says about Levi is that he “revered me and stood in awe of my name.” And I think there is a reason that is mentioned first and foremost. In fact, I think there is a certain flow to this list of godly characteristics. But first, it starts with reverence and being in awe. Reverence is the idea of having a deep respect or admiration for something. This may seem like a no-brainer, but at the core of who we are, we must have a foundational respect for the Almighty. This will lead to being in awe of Him. To be in awe means to have a reverential respect in which you simultaneously experience fear AND wonder. When we truly encounter the divine, it is usually pretty terrifying for us humans. We have a really hard time wrapping our brains around divine infinity. So often we experience fear while also feeling an overwhelming sense of wonder.
The second thing mentioned about Levi is that “true instruction was in his mouth and nothing false was found on his lips.” Did you catch the common thread? “TRUE instruction” and “nothing false.” Truth is the focus here. So how do we instruct truth and speak truth? The obvious answer that I see is that we have to KNOW the truth. The truth of God’s Word and the person of truth, Jesus. If we spend time meditating on the truths of God’s Word and spend time with the person of truth, Jesus, truth will begin to flow from us. The overflow of our lips and the root of what we teach will be truth.
The third and fourth ingredient in this flow of attributes are really interesting to me. Third, Levi walked with God “in peace and uprightness.” I absolutely love the fact that this attribute is actually a characteristic of a blessing FROM God, not TO God. Peace and uprightness directly benefit OUR lives. I know personally that my life is much better when I experience peace and uprightness. Isn’t yours? Pretty apparent right? So the third aspect of these attributes seems to be for us. Now what is really neat about the fourth characteristic mentioned about Levi is that it is for OTHERS. Levi “turned many from sin.” This is a quality that is specifically beneficial for other people. Helping people turn from sinful, destructive desires and behaviors undoubtedly helps to improve THEIR life.
So as we approach our daily lives, let us first begin with respect and wonder to God, let us spend time encountering truth through His Word and the person of Jesus, let us experience peace and uprightness in our personal lives, and let us encourage others to walk away from sinful, destructive ways.