Devotional Thoughts for Today
“The Priestly Role of the Church”
“Then you shall bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the tent of meeting and shall wash them with water 13 and put on Aaron the holy garments. And you shall anoint him and consecrate him, that he may serve me as priest. 14 You shall bring his sons also and put coats on them,15 and anoint them, as you anointed their father, that they may serve me as priests. And their anointing shall admit them to a perpetual priesthood throughout their generations.”
In today’s passage, we find directions given to Moses from God about the line of Aaron serving as a perpetual priesthood throughout the generations. Aaron’s descendants would fulfill the role of representing God to their people—acting as an intermediary between God and the Israelites. It was a very crucial role in the life of Israel. However, in some sense, this role was not limited to only those of Aaron’s line; all of Israel was called to a priestly role.
You see, Yahweh delivered the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt through a powerful demonstration of His power and might. However, God’s plan was not limited to just freedom from bondage. He had a grand purpose and role reserved for them—a vital part in His mission to redeem and renew all of creation. After going through the waters, the Israelites find themselves at the bottom of Mount Sinai and God declares to them, “You shall be to me a kingdom of priests…” (Exodus 19:6). In other words, their nation would not exist for itself but represent God among the nations (Exodus 15:27). They would be commissioned to declare God’s glory in both word and deed.
Interestingly, 1 Peter 2:9 calls the church a royal priesthood. The role originally bestowed upon ethnic Israel has been transferred to the church. It is an important reminder that the church does not solely exist for itself. A pivotal role the church plays in God’s story is one of a priest-we are called to represent God and demonstrate His love and glory to our cities who desperately need Him. Sometimes churches can be so inward focus that we lose this aspect of our calling as a body. Let us remember that our churches are called to the lost! Let us remember that we are priests who have the gospel to proclaim to the nations!
Prayer: Father, we thank You that we have been called to represent who You are to the world around us. I recognize how weighty of a responsibility this role is. Fill me and my church with the power of Your Spirit to reflect your character well to those in our cities!
Bible Reading for Today: 2 Samuel 22
Lunch Break Study
Read 1 Peter 2:9-12: But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
Questions to Consider
- What are the titles given to the church? What ultimate purpose do these titles speak to?
- Why does Peter call the church to abstain from the passions of the flesh and to be honorable among the Gentiles?
- What are some “good deeds” you can begin in your life to bring glory to God?
- Chosen race, royal priesthood, holy nation, a people for His possession. All of this is for the ultimate purpose of proclaiming the excellencies of God to the world.
- He calls them to be honorable so that by their good deeds they may glorify God.
- Personal response.
1 Peter 2:12 says, “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.”
Take some time to reflect on your life. How are your deeds, lifestyle, and character leading others to glorify God? How might you be hindering people from seeing God?