Malachi 2:5 (ESV) …. “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.”
God gave Levi a wonderful covenant “of life and peace” because he “feared” the Lord (Malachi 2:5). The fear of God was conspicuously missing in the wretched priests of Malachi’s day. The Levites of Moses’ day had a belief that behaved. With their fighting faith and the courage of their convictions, they were prepared to make short work of both apathy and apostasy. The priests of Malachi’s day were lineal heirs of the Levites, but their ministry had degenerated into a well-paying job with fringe benefits and social security. Professionalism in the things of God nearly always degenerates into dead orthodoxy or faith-denying liberalism.
Levi was inspired by the fear of the living God and as a result God gave him a threefold ministry: he was an example to all by his words, his walk, and his witness. He was an example by his words in that “the law of truth was in his mouth” (2:6). He upheld the inerrancy, inspiration, and infallibility of the Word of God. Levi was an example by his walk in that “he walked with [God] in peace and equity.” His conduct was such that he enjoyed the constant smile of God’s approval and the conscious sweetness of His presence. Levi was an example by his witness in that he “did turn many away from iniquity.” He did away with apostasy, put the fear of God into the rank and file, defended the faith, and encouraged those who wanted to live for God.
The high calling of the priest was to uphold the fundamentals and fervor of the faith. “The priest’s lips should keep knowledge,” said Malachi. “They should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts” (2:7). The priestly vocation involved the Scriptures as well as the sacrifices. Occupation with the Scriptures was the first duty of the priest—far more important than his ceremonial duties (Leviticus 10:8–11; Deuteronomy 17:9–11). The priest was to uphold the truth of God.
In Christ & Friends Always,
 Phillips, J. (2009). Exploring the Minor Prophets: An Expository Commentary (Mal 2:5–7). Kregel Publications; WORDsearch Corp.