A MESSAGE TO MESSENGERS
"And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it. And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. My covenant was with him of life and peace; and I gave them to him for the fear wherewith he feared me, and was afraid before my name. The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips: he walked with me in peace and equity, and did turn many away from iniquity. For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts. Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law."
Hebrews 10:31, "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." God expects those whom He sets aside to do His service on this earth to practice what they preach, to hold their office with honor, and to teach the fear of the Lord to the people. Let’s notice several things about this passage—
THE MESSENGER’S PRIVILEGE
1. He was to lay to heart what he hears, and to give glory to His name (vs 2). Our first business as ministers of His Word is to take the truth revealed to our own hearts, with the objective of giving glory to His Name. We are to speak what we do know in our own experience for the honor of His Holy Name. The word “hears” could be translated, “to hear with attention and interest.”
A messenger of the Word can become disinterested in what he hears from God and fail as a messenger to give glory to God. He speaks as a dead man to dead people. It is “ho hum” from start to finish. God expects His messengers to take to heart the things he hears. Christianity is a matter of the heart not of the head.
2, He was a representative of Divine truth. “They shall seek the law at his mouth” (vs 7). If we are to be worthy of the trust of anxious inquirers, we ourselves must be taught of God, and wear the real garments of the priesthood—humility and godly fear. It is a privilege to be called of God to minister the Word and carries with it a great responsibility. Those who are not willing to take the responsibility should not enter the ministry. Next let’s look at—
THE SECRET OF HIS POWER
A powerless ministry is a misrepresentation of this holy order.
1. “Ye shall know that I have sent this word unto you” (vs 4). The minister can say, “We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen.” There was no uncertain sound in his testimony. The wavered received nothing of the Lord (James 1:6-7).
2. He is enjoying the gift of life and peace. “Life and peace, I gave them to him” (vs 5). Life is a marvelous thing when your health is good and you have your basic needs met. Some people have a disease free body and enough to live on but they are covetous and are constantly dissatisfied. They live a miserable life. But the fact is that one can have a great life if He knows the Lord and lives within his means and learns to enjoy his family.
3. He has the “Law of truth in his mouth” (vs 6). When the love of God is in his heart, and the law of grace in his mouth, he is Divinely equipped as a herald of the Gospel of Christ. Life, peace, and truth are the holy trinity in his Christian experience.
4. He has the presence of God. “He walketh with me in peace and equity (vs 6). Herein lies the secret of all spiritual power. “Lo, I am with you.” “Without Me ye can do nothing.” For fruitfulness, the presence of God in the life is as needful as the presence of sun and rain on the crops.
5. He had good success. “He did turn many away from iniquity” (vs 6). By their fruits ye shall know them. He is wise that winneth souls. This is not the wisdom that the world gives. But that which cometh by the presence of the Holy Spirit of God. Next—
THE CAUSE OF HIS FAILURE
There was failure, even after such high, holy, and happy experiences. God has made no provision for our failure; but it comes and always through man’s own folly and waywardness. Notice—
1. He departed from the truth. “Ye have departed out of the way” (vs 8). To depart out of His way and will is to go outside the sphere of His purpose and blessing. It is easy to depart from His way when our thoughts begin to wander after selfish interests.
2. He corrupted the covenant (vs 8). He made the word of none effect by false interpretation. We corrupt the Gospel when we make it conditional upon human merit, or that the grace of God makes any allowance for continuing in sin (Rom. 6:1). Next we see—
THE SAD RESULT OF HIS FAILURE
Such is the fall of a backslider who has been used of God. Note—
1. His blessings were blighted. “I will curse your blessings” (vs 2). The gifts and graces divinely bestowed became blighted with God’s disapproval, even the seed (Word) which he sows becomes as a rotten thing (vs 3). His life becomes barren and unfruitful, like the branch separated from the vine.
2. He causes others to stumble. “Ye have caused many to stumble at the law” (vs 8). How many there are who stumble at the Gospel because of failure in professing Christians, especially if they are preachers. Iniquity in the Christian life is always a stumbling-block (Ezek. 7:10). The only remedy for the stumbling-block is to take it out of the way.
3. He is despised by the people. “Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before the people” (vs 9). He preached to others, now he is a castaway. Let us give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip” (Heb. 2:1).
May the Lord bless these words to our hearts.