A holy nation of royal priests.

Exodus 19:6 “You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation…”

The nation of Israel had exited the land of Egypt and seen the demise of the Egyptian army in the midst of the Red Sea. God had led the people of Israel through the desert of Sinai to Mount Sinai where they camped for a while. While there, God called Moses up onto the mountain to speak with him on several occasions and would later give Israel the law while encamped there. One of the things God told Moses to speak to the people is that they would be for God a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”

One thing I note is that God intended the entire nation of Israel to be His priests not just the tribe of Levi. Yes, Levi had been set aside as God’s inheritance among Israel and the ones to whom the sacrificial system would be later charged to, but note that God said all of Israel would be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation to Him. Israel has never fully understood or fulfilled this prophecy of God. They would eventually get lost in their nationalism and never quite grasp the fact that their reception of the law and salvation was to serve as an example to the rest of the world what having a personal relationship with the God of the universe is all about. Instead they lived their lives independent of God and were eventually cast out of His presence into exile. To this day, Israel has not been restored unto God except for individuals here and there.

Accordingly, the apostle Peter in his epistle reminds us, the modern believers, that God has also called us to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (1 Peter 2:9). Where Israel failed in its missions ministry, God expects the church to pick up the reins and continue on with the work of exemplifying what it means to have a personal, intimate relationship with the Creator, the Almighty God.  We need to ensure that we don’t allow ourselves to get lost in sin and fail the mission that God set before us. He originally set it before Israel, and they failed. Now the baton has been passed to the church, and we rest on our laurels at our own peril if we don’t fulfill the role of a royal priesthood and holy nation showing the world how to live in covenant relationship with God.

Father, I see and understand the importance of demonstrating to the world the closeness of having a real bond of love and friendship with You. Israel tried to fulfill her mission but became bogged down in sin and pride and left her first love. She would not even receive her Messiah when He came in person. Oh that Your bride and body would recognize the peril that abounds when she abandons the call of God on her life for the bed of sin and idolatry in the name of self-interest. Dad, help me to be cognizant of the mission at all times and empowered to equip Your people to fulfill their priestly duties. Your will is to be done here on earth as it is in heaven not ours. Help us to humble ourselves and do all that You have planned. In Jesus’ name, Amen.