Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New Testament Priests

All of what we have had in the Old Testament helps us understand what God purpose was for the priesthood. In 1 Peter 2:5 we learn what God’s intentions are for the every new -born believer. We read there that we as holy priests are to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God. I would like to come back to what are some of these spiritual sacrifices. But for now lets also look at verse nine, which informs us that we are not only holy priest, but also royal priests. As royal priests are to set forth the excellencies of Him who has called us out of darkness and into His marvelous light. We come out of the presence of God to let His praises be known.

There are some very significant lessons in the Old Testament for us concerning this matter of fulfilling our priesthood. We see both the privilege and the failures of those who functioned as Old Testament priest. We have looked a little at the privileges, now I would like to look at the failure of some of the priest, not to find fault as much as to learn from their failure.

In Malachi the Jewish priest reprimanded for not functioning as priest should function. In chapter one they are taken to task for not functioning as holy priest. In chapter two they are challenged because they were not functioning as royal priest. The Lord spoke to them in chapter one-verse six, “you priest who have despised my name.” Then they answered back “In what way have we despised your name?” The Lord responded, “You have offer defiled food on My alter” and He goes onto answer “by saying the table of the Lord is contemptible and you offered blind, lame and sick animals as sacrifices.” The Lord went onto to challenge them to try to bring this kind of offerings to the governor. If they would offer second best to the governor, why offer it to the Lord? Shouldn’t the Lord get our best as holy priest? How does this apply to us today? Do we give the Lord over left -overs? Our left over time, left over energy and ability. If we tried that at work, how would that go over? If we came in consistently late or tired to work, what would happen? If we wouldn’t give our employer second best out of fear should we give our Lord first best out of love?

In chapter two of Malachi we see them not giving glory to His name (2:2) as royal priest. This is so severe to the heart of God that He pronounces a curse on them. The Lord goes on to tell them what He expected of them by declaring, “For the lips of the priest should keep knowledge, and the people should seek the law from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.” He is the one who comes out of God’s presence to the people. He is the one who should be bringing glory to God and making Him great among the people. As royal priest they were to come out of the presence of God and bless the people (Numbers 6:22-27). But they failed to do this and how often we fail too.

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