Malachi 2:4-9: “So shall you know that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may stand, says the LORD of hosts. 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, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you do not keep my ways but show partiality in your instruction.”
Do you remember playing the kids game “follow the leader”? The premise of the game was an important life lesson – someone needs to be the leader and everyone else needs to follow them.
Starting with a man named Levi (Exodus 28-29) in the Old Covenant, the leader was the priest who was a lot like a modern-day pastor. They would help people learn the Scriptures, learn how to pray, and help them with their relationships with God and others.
Since everything rises and falls with leadership, God begins to create change among His people by starting with the leaders. Think of it like a big extended family; if the family is going the wrong direction the key is to get the parents straightened out first.
Throughout the Bible, our relationship with God is referred to as a “walk”. The imagery brings to mind a relationship of doing life together continually and making progress headed home to the Kingdom. The simple summary of what God is saying to leaders (e.g. parents, pastors, coaches, bosses, teachers, etc.) is threefold:
1) Walk away from wrong. When going the wrong direction, straying from the Lord or walking away from the Lord, turn around and get back on course. Is there anyone or anything in your life that you need to walk away from?
2) Walk with the Lord. The easiest way to stay out of sin is to stick with the Lord. Those who walk with the Lord are given His presence and provision so that they are blessed. What next step can you take to improve your relationship with the Lord?
3) Never forget who is following you. Sometimes, we walk away from the Lord and walk into trouble, forgetting that others are following us. Who is following you and where are you leading them?