God told the Israelites they were now a “Kingdom of Priests”. (Exodus 19:4-6) This was a concept that was very familiar to the Israelites, but I’m certain our understanding may need to be broaden to grasp its full application, so stay with me for a bit as we dig into the history of priests.
HISTORY OF PRIESTS
Priests were representatives of the God they served. During the time when God spoke this to the Israelites all the nations had priests that served their various deities. Every god of wood and stone was represented by a priesthood. The basic functions of these priests were understood.
First of all, they dressed very differently than the normal lay person. They were set apart for their service to their god and had very high standards of conduct. Their number one mission was to put their god on display. If you wanted to know what the god was like, you just looked at the priests. They were also the mediator between the god and the people. They were to meet the people’s needs on the god’s behalf.
“But you are God’s chosen treasure —PRIESTS who are KINGS, a spiritual “nation” SET APART as God’s devoted ones. He called you out of darkness to experience his marvelous light, and now he claims you as his very own. He did this so that you would BROADCAST HIS GLORIOUS WONDERS throughout the world.”
1 Peter 2:9 TPT
“And they were all singing this new song of praise to the Lamb: “Because you were slaughtered for us, you are worthy to take the scroll and open its seals. Your blood was the price paid to redeem us. You purchased us to bring us to God out of every tribe, language, people group, and nation. You have CHOSEN US to serve our God and FORMED US into a KINGDOM of PRIESTS who reign on the earth.””
Revelation 5:9-10 TPT
Not only were the Israelites specifically called to this role, but the two passages above powerfully declare the same call for you and me! In light of the brief history of the priest, how are we as a community of believers to be a kingdom of priests for the King of Kings, our Lord and Savior? Pause and think upon this for a moment. Even as I type these words, I find myself once again in awe as I’m reminded of such privilege and honor that has been bestowed upon us!
The first thing that remains clear is we must be noticeably different; set apart from the people around us that don’t know our King. It’s not necessarily about the clothes we wear, but rather how we live. We have to live under higher moral standards, live holy lives that are different and that set us apart. Our mission as priests is also to demonstrate what God is like! This is one of the reasons why signs and wonders should follow those who believe. Let us not waver in this pursuit. Think about the display God could have put together to show himself, but instead he picked us. “You want to see what I’m like , look at my priests that represent me”, God says.
Like the priests, we are also to be the mediator between God and the people that don’t know him. We are to be sensitive to the people around us and meet human need as we’re able to on God’s behalf. Prayer is vital and of absolute necessity, however it has to be a hands on process of meeting those needs as well.
1. How are we to put God on display? Jesus said, “as you have seen me you have seen the Father.” Should we be able to say the same?
2. Discuss other roles and responsibilities of Priests and how does this pertain to us as individuals? What does this look like in the family? Workplace?
3. Will the people you meet this week know what God is like by the way your represent him? What do you believe is holding you back? Sin? Unbelief? Fear?