DEVOTION:This Is What You Should Expect!

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We saw in chapter I of this book of Malachi the pathetic spiritual condition of Israel in spite of the priests in their midst. In fact, as we saw, the priests themselves led the people into this downward spiral of spiritual decay. In chapter 2:1-4, The Lord reveals why these priests failed to lead Israel as was expected of them.

And now, you priests, this wa rning is for you. 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. Malachi 2:1-2

These priests failed to lead Israel towards God, because they did not resolve to honor God. And as we saw in the previous chapter, God rejected them. But in this passage, God pronounces a punishment against the priests by cursing their blessings.

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Then He went ahead to show what is expected of any priest. He does this by stating His covenant with Levi, the head of the priestly line/tribe.

 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.  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. Malachi 2:5-6

Levi met the demands of this covenant. First, he honored God.

This called for reverence and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. Malachi 2:5b

Then he fulfilled his assignment to teach God’s people to do what is right before God. God gives this wonderful description of Levi.

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. Malachi 5:6

Then God gives a reason why this was true of Levi, the Priest.

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. Malachi 2:7

 

Wonderful! This is what is expected of any priest. But in contrast, Levi’s descendants during Malachi’s time violated this covenant with God. Instead of teaching the people of God the right way, they misled them.

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. Malachi 2:8

APPLICATION:

1.    Have you ever been confused as to which church to attend because you couldn’t decide between the Pastors who are shepherding these churches? In addition to knowing where God wants you to worship, knowing what is expected of any priest/pastor will help you to narrow your search. Read again what God expects from any Pastor.

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. Malachi 2:7

2.    There are many believers today who have been led astray by false teachers and have been filled with some very weird theology. Sometimes I come across these believers and after hearing what they have to say, I ask myself, which world have they been living? If you have become a victim or know anyone in this trap. Here are a few things you can do.

a.     Evaluate what you are hearing and see if it conforms to what the Bible teaches.

b.     Make sure the messenger is living up to what he/she is teaching

c.    It does not matter the education level or the experience of anyone who claims to be a man of God, if he is not teaching what the word says, then, he does not qualify to be a man who has been commissioned by God.

3.    Just because anyone claims to be a man of God, does not necessarily make him a man of God.

a.     False teachers do not come out and confess that they are false teachers,

b.     Many have commercialized the gospel of Christ and because the goal is to get rich, they will say or do anything to lure the unsuspecting believers into their lie.

c.     There is more that should examine when one claims to be a man of God.

4.    There is this theology of planting the seed! While it sounds good and makes sense from a farmers or economic perspective, this is not what the scripture teaches.  And many believers today strive to plan a seed in what they call a fertile soil.

5.     Here is a warning for those of us who are today’s priests of God, if we do not fulfill God’s expectation.

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 2:9

6.    How has this passage spoken to you today?

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.

Malachi 2:7

And it is why 

THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD EXPECT!

Pastor Shadrack Ruto

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