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. Malachi 2:5
The beauty of this picture arrests me. Because Levi was given a covenant of life and peace, his deep gratitude caused him to respond with reverence and awe. This gift from God was so undeserved that it stunned him. The name of God fell from his lips with wonder.
I think about those who have impacted my life; those who, despite how much time has passed, continue to shape my worldview and how I respond as a child of God. Family, mentors, friends, authors, speakers. If their influence has been life altering, I feel the beautiful weight of their memory when anyone speaks their names. If a question about them is posed, I weigh my words carefully, finding it a challenge to capture someone so important to my life.
For instance, let me talk about my mother. Cancer took her life 1984. I was only 30 years old. The essence of who she is, and still is, fills my heart and I find it about impossible to describe the many shades of her personality and character. She is one of the prominent subjects of my hour-long seminar on how to survive hard times. It is not uncommon for women to ask me afterward, “Can you tell me more stories about your mother.” I’m sure my face wears my love for my mother as I speak of her. If this is true of a mother, how much more so of a Savior!
I am also struck by the fact that Levi’s response didn’t include entitlement. God’s promise of life and peace was an undeserved gift. God didn’t owe them anything because they were good people. He bestowed the oaths of covenant upon them; He commended his love toward them, and toward me, which means to confer something upon another. He conferred life and peace upon the unrighteous even though they would love him, then betray him. It would be a cycle of joy and pain for God yet He did not weigh the risks and consider them too great. I’m glad, aren’t you? Because I’ve been grafted, as a Gentile, into the family that enjoys this same covenant of life and peace. But some of these branches from Abraham’s tree–some of the people of Israel—have been broken off. And you Gentiles, who were branches from a wild olive tree, have been grafted in. So now you also receive the blessing God has promised Abraham and his children. Romans 11:17
Have mercy upon me until I have the same response as Levi. Reverence and awe. Amen