A Kingdom of Priests! (New Song, part 8)
“ Kingdom of Priests”
Just as the Levites (the Old Testament priesthood) were not given an allotment of land when the Israelites entered into Canaan, but rather lived amongst the rest of the tribes of the nation, we as Christians are a priesthood without a land here on this earth. We are called, just as the Levites were, to live as strangers and aliens in this land, for our land is a land that is not of this world, but has been reserved for us in heaven.
With this in mind, there are two things that we must always keep before us. First is that we are not to allow ourselves too high a degree of comfort in this world. This world is passing away and it has not been given to us; our world is imperishable. When the Christian becomes too comfortable with the things of this world, he begins to compromise his faith. Just as the Levitical priesthood allowed the idolatry of the land to corrupt their pure faith, so too, when we become comfortable in the land, we invariably compromise the truth of our faith, and we sink into idolatry.
Secondly, the reason that the priesthood was spread about the promised land was so that they would be a blessing to the rest of the Israelites. Yes, the Levites served an important function within the temple, but when they were not physically serving in the temple, the Levites were to teach the scriptures to God’s people and to be an advocate for the widows and orphans, or those otherwise excluded from the society. Just as the nation of Israel was blessed to be a blessing to the world around them, the Levites were blessed to be a blessing to Israel.
And friends, this also remains as our task. Not only must we seek to keep our faith pure and focused on Christ (as opposed to the things of this world), but we are also to be a blessing to the world around us. We need to care for the widows and the orphans, and by extension, all those who have been discarded by society. We are to take the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all people and teach them about our God. And, as we are priests to God, we have an important role in worship itself, for the writer of Hebrews tells us that our sacrifice (as opposed to the Old Testament temple sacrifices) is a sacrifice of praise to our God (Hebrews 13:15).
Take my will, and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.
Take my love, My Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee.