And you shall become a kingdom of priests for Me, a holy nation. Exodus 19:6
Kingdom of Priests – God chose Israel before He gave them the commandments. He elected Abram before he became Abraham and before he knew anything about God’s plan. He picked Isaac, not Ishmael. He blessed Jacob, not Esau. God chooses whomever He wishes to choose. We have no say in the matter. After all, it’s His plan. We don’t get to decide the strategy, but we have a lot to do with the tactics.
God’s strategy has never changed. He has always chosen to reach all through some in the same way He chose to redeem all through one. He often chooses those who seem ill-equipped or completely rebellious. He seems to prefer reluctant leaders, not campaigning politicians. If you’re anxious to have the job, you’re probably not the right person. God’s jobs require humility, self-abasement, sacrifice and, usually, lack of recognition. No one (except Jesus) volunteers for this kind of duty.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone chosen has no part to play. God determines the strategy and assigns us the tactics. This verse tells us the part we play. All those chosen by Him (whether as original vine or grafted branches) are to live as priests so that the rest of the world may see His glory. While the class of priests developed later in Israel’s history, God’s call comes before the Levites are designated, in fact, before the Law is given. Merely fifty days after delivery from Egypt, God announces His grand strategy. His chosen will be a kingdom of priests. That means that every citizen has a priestly function. Every citizen under God’s reign and rule carries a special mission.
This has a very important meaning for the children of Israel. In Egypt the term for priest (w’b) basically meant “a pure man” and there was no professional clergy. Every able-bodied man was a priest in his own home. Imagine the impact of God’s announcement. The Hebrews just spent the last 200 years under Egyptian rule and influence. They knew quite well that Egyptian gods were served by every man in every home. But they were slaves. No god battled for them – until Yahweh arrived and showed Himself superior to every Egyptian god. Then Yahweh tells His people, “All of you will be my priests. You will become what Egypt attempted – holy servants of mine, not to serve yourselves but to serve Me by bringing the world back to My glory.”
How will God’s children accomplish this grand strategy? Simple – by keeping the commandments! In other words, God’s strategy is fulfilled when God’s people live in accordance with God’s way of life. God guarantees it. Our mission, should we chose to accept it, is to live as pure men and women so that the entire world will marvel at the acts of God through us. Whenever we fail to live as pure men and women, we fail to accomplish God’s mission. The strategy does not change. We simply fail to participate in the greatest mission ever conceived. But when we put these tactics in play, God promises to do wonderful things through us so that the world will come to Him. What kinds of wonderful things? Well, that’s another story.