He walked with me in peace and uprightness, and turned many from sin. Malachi 2:6
Looking back is meant to be instructive. I can see how far I’ve come from what I was like before. Hopefully, I am no longer the person I used to be if I was far from God. But it can also work the other way. Perhaps I once worshipped but have now abandoned God’s ways. If I’m willing to look back, it will be painful but corrective. I will be reminded again of how true and simple it was supposed to be between me and God.
Levi, himself, one of the twelve sons of Jacob, was a murderer. A true scoundrel! He nearly forfeited his inheritance. But a hundred and fifty years later, his descendants had changed. With Moses on Mt. Sinai, the children of Israel feared their leader was dead so they defected by begging Aaron to build a god to worship. The golden calf was made but the Levites fought to preserve the Mosaic Law in the face of idolatry. While everyone else danced around a golden cow, they held fast.
Just before the Israelites entered the promised land, Moses lay dying. He gathered the children of Israel around him to prophesy about their future. The twelve sons who had gathered around Jacob were now nearly a million strong. The tribe of Levi continued to set themselves apart from their spiritual father, Levi. They still treasured God’s law. Moses’ last prophecy confirmed that ‘the [tribe of Levi] would teach Jacob Your judgements and Israel your Torah.’ Deuteronomy 33:9 And, from the tribe of Levi, by the way, came spiritual giants like Miriam, Ezekiel, even John the Baptist.
But like our spiritual journeys, the long pathway of the Levites had some twists and turns from unrighteous Levi, to the faithful priests in Moses’ time, to the disobedient priests to whom Malachi is addressing. They no longer treasured the Torah. They no longer taught it but perverted temple practices instead. How far they had strayed. Malachi’s words from God called them back to their beginnings when they walked with Him in peace and uprightness.
Are you far from God today? Was your faith once true and on fire? Perhaps others see you living the ‘form’ of the Christian life but you know your heart is lifeless compared the warmth of your spiritual beginnings.
Show me where it all went wrong, Lord. Teach and restore Your children. Amen