“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. “For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction-because he is the messenger of the LORD Almighty. 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. “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.” (Reference: Malachi 2:6-9 )
Do you know people who have followed in the footsteps of righteous who have gone before them? That is one of the reasons we study scripture and the lives of people of God – to learn what is good to do. With some exceptions that I have noted along the way, the historic Anabaptists have walked righteous foot steps, emulating those who came before them. But the historic Anabaptist were a contentious lot, bickering amongst themselves and critiquing the state religion.
Concerning this passage of scripture, in a group letter several Dutch Anabaptists criticized some of the priests/preachers in the state church. They said in part, “That they also say that we will not hear the Word of God, because we do not hear the preachers in church, to that we reply that we do not hear the preachers, to this the Word of our God constrains us, as they are not fit persons to administer such an office. . . . But if the preachers were according to the apostolic doctrine, we would gladly hear them from the depths of our hearts, and would also be the first and the last in church. . . . The prophet says: “The priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth.” Mal. 2:7. . . But that this should be an argument from the word of Christ (Matt. 23), to hear the preachers, cannot be; since the preachers are not of the tribe of Levi, whom Israel had to hear, but from the Gentiles.”
It is good, beloved, to pick and chose who you are going to pay attention to, and who you are going to emulate and follow. I hope and pray that you have worthy leaders to follow and righteous examples of the Christian life set before you. Selah!