Exodus 19:1-6: Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation
[Exodus 19:1-6 ESV] 1 On the third new moon after the people of Israel had gone out of the land of Egypt, on that day they came into the wilderness of Sinai. 2 They set out from Rephidim and came into the wilderness of Sinai, and they encamped in the wilderness. There Israel encamped before the mountain, 3 while Moses went up to God. The LORD called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: 4 You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. 5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”
Let’s pray. Father, bless your word now as it’s proclaimed. I pray that you’d help us to understand it clearly, that we would turn to you and listen to your voice, obey, keep your covenant, and that through this you would call us into a greater consecration devotion to you and our everyday lives. We ask this in your precious name. Amen.
Well, you can see the structure of this passage is actually fairly easily laid out. It’s a, typical Hebrew way to present a passage like this. It starts with A: you’ve got Moses going up the mountain. Then B is a commission from God to say something. C is what that commission is. It’s the subject of what our sermon will be today, four through six. And then in the following verses you’ll have B: Moses is commissioned again and then A: Moses will descend from the mountain.
So he goes up a commissioned by God, be told what to say, commissioned by God. Again, Moses goes down the mountain, A, B, C, BA. That’s really typical from Hebrew authors. And you should note this and it’s good for you to write in your little margins of your Bible. As you notice this in your interpretation, the intent of the Hebrew author is to draw your attention right to the middle. How many of your photographers out there are somewhat photographers? You take a picture and your goal of that picture is to draw the eyes to a certain location and you do that by the position, by the framing of the shot. That’s exactly what the author is doing here in this passage. He’s drawing your attention in on these key verses this, listen, this here is one of the load bearing verses or passages of the entire Bible.
It is one of the most significant, one of probably six or eight of the most significant passages in the Bible. All right, I, I need you to hear me. Now. The reason why I preach, why I picked Exodus to preach on was because of this passage. I was so excited to get here this week and I’m so excited to teach you. This becomes a primary way. These verses here that we as humans are supposed to see our relationship with God. God presents his relationship with Israel in a certain light and we should see it the same way. I want you to notice something about this passage right off the bat. Okay? You’ve got a couple brief phrases in verse five if indeed you will obey my voice and keep my covenant. There’s the obedience section, but that those few phrases, those few verse though, those few commands so to speak, are literally surrounded by God’s work, by God’s promise, by God’s relationship.
Look on either side of it. You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, how I bore you on Eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Now, look right after that. If you obey the voice, you will be my treasured possession among all the peoples for all the earth, this mud and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation. You see that? See how that works? Quite literally, the commands of God are surrounded and supported by God’s sovereign love for the Israelites. And so here’s your big idea. A relationship with God requires obedience of us, but our obedience is initiated and supported by God’s elective love for us. I’ll say it again. A relationship with God requires obedience of us, but our obedience is initiated and supported by God’s elective love. For us.
When I was growing up, I did not have a good work ethic. I was the type of person who would do the bare minimum. And I figured out how to do less than the bare minimum. Ha. Many times my dad heard about a retired missionary who attended our church, who needed somebody to mow his lawn. And my dad thought it would be a good opportunity to teach me work ethic, teach me to work hard and get paid for working hard. So I would go to Mr Jewel’s property which was up on the Bracco Road, and it’s as thick as it sounds. And we would, I would go up there and his property was built into the side of a Hill. It would be a mountain to Iowans. It was built into the side of the Hill for new Yorkers.
And it was a hard lawn to mow. I had to mow it by hand and then I would, we’d eat it by hand and I can remember different times he asked a question like to see if I wanted to do a little extra to earn a little bit extra money. He always paid me well and he would ask, Hey, you know, I’ve got this ditch that’s in front of my house. Would you mind weed whacking all of that down and all of course pay you for the time you work there. And for me, I was like, nah, man. Like I didn’t say that to like that to him, but for me personally, I was like, you know, I gotta begin home and there’s stuff I want to, I got to get to. And, you know, things like that. And I can remember one time my dad dropped me off to, to mow and he talked to Mr jewel for a few minutes.
And Mr jewels told them apparently that I, I said that I didn’t want to work a little extra to get some extra money and my dad took me instead of the normal way home down the Bracco road to the base of the mountain where Cincinnatus was located. And he instead took me up pitcher Hill road pitcher Hill road has a view that would be a top 10 view in Iowa. All right. And it was just my backyard. It was beautiful. I miss it dearly. Pitcher Hill opened up on top of this, this mountain with a large pasture and then it would work its way when it got to the end of the pasture down switchbacks, literally back and forth driving in a car to get to the bet base where pitcher was a small other community on the other side of the mountain from Cincinnatus.
And so my dad took me that way home and I can remember he parked the car at the top of the Hill near where the pasture and it’s, so we had this view of, of pitcher in the Valley below. And I don’t remember what he said. I really honestly don’t remember. I think I remember one thing where he was trying to impress on me, don’t you want more money? Like you can get more money by working more. And that’s about all I remember. But I remember him taking time to impress on me. And I remember that it was that moment there that started to develop in me a desire to work harder. And it wasn’t because he said something magical. It wasn’t because he did the sit-com like exact right phrase at the exact right time that whacked me upside the head. It was because he parked the car and he turned to me and he talked to me.
He talked to me not like a friend, but in the context of our relationship, our relationship in that moment became the thing that initiated and supported in me. The growth that is still continuing to, to this day where I want to be a hard worker and labor hard and the callings that God gives me a relationship with God is very similar. We are to be obedient. We are to be righteous. We are to be good and obey his commands, but his commands are always support it by his relationship. So first I want you to see that your relationship from this passage here is initiated by God. It’s initiated by God. Your relationship with him is initiated. Bye God. And I want you to see the phrase that he used or the illustration that he uses you yourselves. Verse four, have seen what I did to the Egyptians.
How I bore you on Eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Every passage, pretty much the rest of the Bible that talks about Eagle wings is probably at least partially echoing back to this first year. It’s interesting to me that God chose an Eagle and the flight of an Eagle and the relationship of an Eagle that’s teaching its young liens. How to fly that, that God chose that as the picture that he wants to use to communicate our relationship to him. That’s really interesting to me. That became the picture when I was a, I’m first getting interested in my wife. I gave her a fish to try to communicate my affection for her because what better way to communicate affection for a woman than giving her a fish that she has to take care of for the next, I dunno, five years and won’t die.
And it was a jewel fish for my brother and I wrote her a poem to go along with said fish that a, it wants something. I don’t remember all of it, but I remember some of the last lines of it, you know, I was asking her to, to, to date me and I said something like, I got you this fish. And I named him Gunther hoping that we will be together for more than a month or too. And that was how I ended the poem at. Don’t knock it because it worked. We’re married today, you know. But, but, but it’s interesting like that fish became a symbol in many ways of, of my relationship, her and we couldn’t let the fish die because then what would happen to our relationship right. Then if finally did die and we’re still going strong, but then she won’t let me get another fish.
But it’s interesting that God chose the Eagle as the picture from here on out. Many biblical authors later in the story are going to use this Eagle idea. And, and David is one of the most prominent in the Psalms. For instance, the preface of Psalm 51, it says to the choir master, according to a tune that they call, do not destroy a mic. Tom of David, which was a teaching of David teaching song when he fled from Saul in the cave that gives you, he’s running from Saul. And this is what he says in verse one, be merciful to me. Oh God, be merciful to me for new. My soul takes refuge in the shadow of your wings. I take refuge until the storms of destruction go by. The idea of the Eagle wings of God become a, a picture that the rest of the biblical authors will use. And you know, Isaiah 40, maybe the end of that chapter that the last verse [inaudible] talks about how they’ll Mount up with wings like Eagles. Where does that come from? Comes from here. So here’s my question to you. I want you to think about Israel’s salvation from Exodus. And I want to draw some comparisons to ours. Why was Israel saved?
Was it because they were many? Was it because they were righteous? Was it because they were hurting? Was it because they were impressive? Think about it. Israel was saved because of God’s promises to Abraham, right? You go back, God promised to Abraham that he would eventually set Israel free from the bondage in Egypt. 400 years later. It happens. Exactly like God said. Why though, did God make those promises to Abraham? Was it because Abraham was impressive? Was it because Abraham was righteous? Was it because he was small? Was it because he was on impressive? You ever asked those questions?
We have no human reason for God’s sovereign choosing of Abraham over the other nations. It’s not given in the text. And I think we’re supposed to understand that in the text he could have chosen Egypt. You realize that. Think about that. How different would the course of the world been? He had chosen Egypt, the patriarch of Egypt or Tyre or Kush or Canaan or the original Jerusalemites called the Jebusites in your Bible, what if you chose one of them? Why didn’t He? But he didn’t. No, I don’t care how far you go back. There is no human reason for God’s choice of Abraham. We see in the flood back in Genesis that every people group of the world at that time rightly deserve judgment, including no ed, his family. I know it says that he was righteous, but what is the first thing that Noah does when he gets off the boat plants?
A vineyard gets drunk. It gets naked in a cave somewhere. Right? We see right away that he’s not righteous either, that he’s not the man. He should be the, he’s not the the one that that is. Oh, that makes sense. That makes sense. Why God chose Noah, mankind. Biblically. All you have to do is read Genesis. You don’t have to go to Romans chapter three that says for all of sin you can, but you can just read the story of Genesis and see how terrible mankind is. We’re selfish, we’re proud, we’re self deceive. We’re angry, we’re unjust, we’re spiteful, we’re dishonest, we’re sexually addictive. We’re all over the map. There’s not a single human that deserves a relationship with God. Not a single one of us. There are no qualifications that anyone meets. So why does Israel get to be set free from Egypt?
Ask the question. Well, it’s our memory verse this week, this month in March. You guys remember it. He predestined us and then it says some little phrases and it gives us the standard by which he chooses according to the purpose of his will. In other words, his choosing of Israel was on the basis of what he decided. Choose a mystery that is bound within himself and not revealed to us because he decided to. We all deserve the natural end of our sin, but God, for some reason, for some reason that seemed good to the all wise, all powerful, all sovereign God of the universe. God stepped in to save some. God stepped in to save Israel. God stepped in to save Abraham and his pathetic little family, even though they couldn’t have offspring. It wasn’t to do with anything good in themselves. God did not choose is real because they were special.
They were special because God chose them. That’s what we see in this passage. The fact that Israel became special is because God chose to save them, and it’s the same with you and I today, and not only did God in his sovereignty from eternity past choose some to be saved. He chose the way that they would be saved and he made plans that Jesus Christ would die on the cross for his people, for those he chose for the people that would believe one day, Jesus truly offers salvation to the world. Anyone who comes can be saved, but he lays down his life for his sheep that hear his voice. That’s John 10 for his sheep that hear his voice and follow him. He gave his life up for the church. That’s Ephesians five when he died, it was God’s sovereign plan that Jesus’ death in that moment, 2000 years later would pay the price for your sin.
He chose to make that possible according to Ephesians chapter one when he Rose, it was God’s sovereign plan to bring you new life. It is true that he desires all men to be saved. He wants that. That is in his nature to desire good for mankind. He’s a good and kind and loving God, merciful, offering forgiveness to the world, and yet the cross was specifically designed to save his people. Romans chapter eight says that those who he chooses according to the purpose of his will in Ephesians chapter one he predestines to experience grace. The picture is as if God sets your life on a trajectory to eventually bounce off of grace and it will forever change your life. He destins you for that moment. Those who he predestines, how does that happen? He places an irrevocable call on a special call. The type of call that a not yet believer fuels in their gut. The type of call they feel like they can’t even say no to. It’s like the type of call when God called the light out of darkness. It’s the same type of call. Could the darkness say no?
Those whom he calls, he glorifies in the perfect to accomplish work of his son. He cleanses the dirt and the grime and polishes us clean. He justifies us so that we stand righteous before him. He shines to Sates and sets them on an eternal course for glory and blessing and undead joy. He unchangeable. He plots the of our life so that it finds its end at the feet of Jesus Christ. Then at the feet of Jesus Christ, when we see him, we will be like him because we’ll see him as he is. That’s the wonder of our salvation. That’s the picture of our salvation.
Some may say that. The question is, is it fair? Is it fair that some are saved and others are not? Is it fair that God chose to save Abraham and his descendants but not Egypt? So this I answer two things. Number one, it is utterly fair that all are damned. It is grace that some are safe. Number two, who are we to question God cause I know that comes up in my heart. Who am I to question God? Though we don’t get to pick what is true, what truth is true on the basis of how comfortable we are with it.
It is ours to be humble before the word of God and accept the truth that’s been given to us and you can be sure that if God’s word is eternally true, it will offend. It will step on the toes of every person here and every culture that ever was or ever will be in different ways. This teaching of election steps on the toes of a of an American individualistic culture that is out to find themselves that says, no, I got to figure out what’s right for me. No, it’s me. I’m the master of my fate. I will choose my course, the teaching of God’s word stubs that toe others may say. Then what is our part? If God did it all from the beginning to the end, what’s our part and to this? I answer that God has given us a glimpse behind the curtain, but don’t let that ruin your role. He has not chosen to reveal to us the connection between human responsibility and his sovereignty, but he has clearly shown us in his word that it is ours to respond by faith in the offer of salvation.
If you believe the gospel than it is true that from eternity past you were chosen. It is yours. Your responsibility today to respond to that if you need a reminder of this. Ephesians two eight and nine makes it really clear that even your faith is a gift from God. So when you respond by faith, you then sit and you say, God, thank you that you gave me the faith because it’s through that faith that I received that grace and it’s through that grace that I’m saved. If your deliverance, listen, if your deliverance is on the basis of an Exodus like miraculous deliverance in which the Israelites truly offered nothing, then you do not have to fear whether or not you did enough to be saved.
Whether or not you did enough to be God when you be with God, when you die, whether or not you did enough to avoid eternal damnation, whether or not you did enough good to be with God, you don’t have to fear that because God did it. He saved you. You offer nothing to the equation. It also means that you cannot add anything to that position with God. If you trust Jesus Christ right now, 50 years from now, you will be just as much of a child of God just as much saved, just as much a promise to be glorified. It’s just as much yours in that moment.
If you have been saved for 40 years, you are just as much a child of God today as you were the day you believed because God’s salvation is his working, not yours to become more of a child of God. It also means that you cannot do anything to take away from your position with God because it was given to you by God as a gift on the basis of the unchanging righteousness of Jesus Christ. Therefore, your relationship is also unchanging. It’s not through your performance. If you mess up today, it doesn’t change your relationship with him. If God’s swooped you up into his hand, no man can take you out. John 10 if God bears you up on Eagle’s wings, then you will fly and never fall X’s chapter 19 if it’s God’s work, then you have no fear that God did not do good enough.
Number one, I want you to see what accidents is saying here. He’s telling the Israelites, you did nothing. I saved you. I’ve established this relationship. This relationship was on the basis of my initiation. God says, I’ve given it to you now on the basis of that gift, 0.2 obedience is a part. Obedience is a part. I bore you up on Eagle’s wings and brought you to myself. Now, therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you have to obey. It’s not questionable. This entire section reads like a scripture of something that was called a re reads like a passage of something that in ancient literature was called a King Bassel treaty. You know what a vassal is when a King came into an area conquered everyone, he would sometimes allow other Kings to remain Kings on their little mini areas. As long as they paid tribute to him and when they entered into this relationship, they would go through the process of a King vassal tree. I want you to hear this. This is written exactly like one of those trees. It’s stunning. This is an example of a time when God uses the cultural language and moment of that time to communicate an eternal truth.
This is an example of God using that normal feature from their culture. It includes the exact structure, including the preamble that identifies the author right at the beginning, the history of the past relationship between the two parties, the basic stipulations of the relationships. Then later in chapters like 20 and on, you’ll have the detailed stipulations. You’ll have a document clause, you’ll have witnesses. Then you’ll have blessings and curses depending on their obedience. Listen, this is exactly how this is laid out. The rest of the book, God is using something from that time, not because it was amazing, but because he’s speaking in the cultural language of that moment to communicate eternal truth and you know what a vassal has to do that God who obey the King.
This is set up in a way for you to understand that you function under a King. Now it’s yours to obey. Obedience is expected. It is not necessarily a condition of the covenant, although it appears that way in our English translations. It is assumed though it’s assumed that for this covenant to take place, there must be a commitment on both parts. Goddess committed on his part, right? Is he going to fail on his part? Is the King gonna fail on his part? This is the part where you can say something. No, he’s not. Who fails Israel and we do. Yes.
Why did God choose us to have a relationship with him? Do you? Our memory verse from February, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world that we should be what before him, Holy and blameless before him, and that I think both has a present day, a thought, the thought pattern, but I think it also has a more eternal thought pattern behind it. He didn’t choose us because we had a propensity to be good. We have no qualifications upon which God could choose us, and yet his salvation is such that his goal is our purity and our obedience and our holiness. He did not deliver you from the depths of your sin so that you could do whatever you want. Did it deliver Israel from Egypt so they could do whatever they want so that they could form a new Egypt up a little North?
He did save you today from your slavery to pride and self so that you could listen to the voice of the world that tells you to find yourself. He did save you from the watery depths of sexual sin so that you could reenter Egypt to as slave again to that sin. He didn’t deliver you from the chariots of anger and bitterness so that you would lay down in front of the chariots of desire that caused conflict in your life for freedom. Christ has set us free. Do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. Listen to his voice. Make his voice the voice that carries the most weight in your life. Read his word. Be sensitive to the way the spirit convicts you through his word, through the preaching of his word, through the study of his word. Tear down and stone. Whatever voices you have that are telling you to obey a different pattern of life. Whatever’s competing with the voice of God.
Obey. We talked about this in our morning Sunday school and the adults for by grace are you saved through faith. For the grace of God has been revealed from heaven. And it goes on a phrase or two later, teaching us to what? Renounce ungodliness and worldly lust. What is the purpose of God’s grace? It’s not so that you get to do whatever you want. It’s not, I’ll put it, I’ll put it differently. It’s not that so that you can choose to continue to be in slate. That’s not God’s grace. Yeah, that’s great. Just to set you free.
It wasn’t planted to say this, but let me, let me put it like this. I’ve heard, I think it was Timothy Keller and this is what he said. Is a fish free when you take them out of the water? Well, it’s the, I thought freedom was about being able to do whatever you want. What if the fish wants out of the water? Is a fish truly free when it’s out of water? No. And, and people define freedom today as like the ability to do whatever you want. That’s not freedom. Freedom is choosing the right set of restraints that actually bless you and prosper you. And guess what? Those are the commands of God.
When you enslave yourself to disobedience, you are not free. You’re destroying your life and you’re going to wind up in hell. When you choose to obey the commands of God, obey the voice of God. That’s when you’re free because you’ve chosen the set of restraints that allow you to prosper like efficient water allow you to live. The third [inaudible] first was our relationship is completely initiated by God. Second was a obedience is required in third and finally our relationship with God becomes our primary identity. Our relationship with God becomes our primary identity and I know some of you might get uncomfortable when we start talking about identity theology and certainly there are different groups that are taking this far, far in the wrong direction, but when it’s right there in the text, you gotta embrace it. Guess what God does? It gives them an identity.
He says, if you obey, you will be my special possession, my treasured possession among all peoples. The earth is mine. You shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation. It gives them an identity. He’s saying, this is who you are. Now in this covenant relationship with me. This is who you are now. Now if you’re like, well, this is who Israel is. This isn’t who we are. Got news for you. That’s not the way the apostle Peter interpreted this. I’m going to side with the apostle Peter on this one. Peter first Peter chapter two quotes this almost exactly and many other passages from the old Testament about the Israelites. You very clearly sees us maybe not replacing Israel as such, but he sees us as an extension of Israel for sure.
First, we see that we are God’s precious possession. Think about this for a second. Precious possession. It is wrong. Listen, it is wrong to try to make ourselves significant. Amen, but when God does it, we should revel in it like pigs in mud. When God says, you are my precious possession, we embrace that God makes us warrior multi. He gives us a unique position and his presence as priests. We’re going to learn about those things in a moment. We are his special possession out of all of the people on earth. It’s like the new Testament says who he justifies. He also glorifies. It’s like when my wife and I play a game with our little ones and, and we hold them close and we say, no, you’re your daddy’s girl. Mom. Janae will say, no, your mommy’s girl. We’d go back and forth. Listen, does that phrase show possession? Kind of. But it’s more about the intimacy. It’s more about my treasuring of them, your mind. So that be mine. I’m yours on the little heart candies. Anybody get those? This year I heard that they didn’t stock them or something happened where they couldn’t make them this year. So what’s going on here in this? I gotta give you some background in this guys.
There’s, there’s a, a profound strand that you’ve got to follow in the narrative of the Bible in order to really understand it. Well, Genesis chapter 10 talks about the, the rebellion at the tower of Babylon to 10 and 11 there. And he gives he’s got these, these group of people, these nations that are all together, United in one language, right? Functioning as one people, but they’re doing so not in glory to God but in glory to themselves. And so God divides their language and as a result of dividing their language, they naturally divide out into different people, groups in nations throughout the world at that time. Now, Deuteronomy chapter 32 verse eight makes it really clear that in that moment when God divided out the nations by dividing their language, that he also assigned them. It says in Deuteronomy 32 eight to the sons of God.
Now my understanding of this idea is that he has given them over to different angels, evil angels, spiritual powers, and all over the passages of scripture. You see over and over again where these other nations, when they serve their idols, it says they’re actually serving demons. Deuteronomy 32 17 Psalm 106: 37 even the new Testament interacts with this idea in a few different ways. In times [inaudible] the narrative is given to us in a way so that we understand that the nations of the world have been given over to powerful demotic forces. And if out of all of those nations of the world, God took one man that could not procure, create Abraham, I said, no, your mind not you.
Demons can have these wicked men, the rest of them, but not Abraham. And you know what? Through Abraham, through you, Abraham, I’m going to work miracles. And as you walk before me, through Abraham, I will bring blessing to the world. So that slowly the power of these evil forces is broken throughout the world. And as God’s gospel today expands to every nation, the righteousness is unleashed through the gospel of Jesus Christ. And blessing is brought to them. This is the narrative of scripture. So win, win. You read in the Bible when you read these phrases, you’ve got to take all that meaning. He says, you are my treasured possession.
He’s not saying, man, you are really good looking. Just how really dumb people take this. I shouldn’t say it like that. [inaudible], Which is a an improper interpretation. I lose an hour of sleep. I lose a filter. Sorry, that’s not what it’s saying here. He’s saying, no, I have chosen you not because you were special, not because you’re good looking, not because of anything by yourself, but I have made you special through my choosing your mind. I love you. You’re my treasured possession of all of the peoples of the earth. And then he’s going to go on to explain what he means by treasured possession. The next two phrases and Hebrew grammar here are meant to explain what treasured possession means. The first one is that we are a kingdom of priests. Priests in the old Testament are those who are able to approach Yahweh to those who are consecrated and devoted to be able to have access to God.
Here it really clearly says that every single Israelite has that access. Now, in a few chapters, we’re going to see the Levi priesthood established. So there’s clearly gradations here, but the emphasis is that every single one of the Israelites as this unique access to God, but not only that, they are a kingdom, a priest. You see that now when you hear kingdom, when I hear kingdom, I’m thinking, well, the entire nation will be under a King and they’ll all be priests, right? That’s what you hear. That’s what I hear. Anyone. But that’s not an ad. In fact, that the new Testament translates this differently in the Greek when they, when they translate the old Testament Hebrew here, they say a Royal priesthood, a Royal priesthood. In other words, you are King priests. You are queen priests. That’s the proper interpretation. And that’s how Peter interprets it too in the new Testament. So I side with Peter again and I, I want you to hear why that matters. I want you to hear why that matters. There are only a handful of people in the word of God that are both Kings and priests.
Do you know the first one? First all is Adam. Adam is commanded to work the garden and keep it. Those are two phrases that used together are only ever used of the lead bites later on as they serve in the temple. And Adam has, Adam and Eve had this unique role to subdue the earth. [inaudible] Kingship language, right? Who’s the second one? Technically Noah. But yeah, third one would be then [inaudible] a deck. You guys know that crazy story. Do you ever read that story? Abraham? A bunch of his family gets taken by this army and they, he goes, well, we’re going to go conquer them. And he’s on his way back from that battle. And [inaudible] a guy from Salem, which is Jerusalem, meets them. And Abraham, the father who’s going to bring blessing to the world, pays homage to Melchisedeck and he’s called both a King and a priest in that passage.
The new, the new Testament author of Hebrews has a lot of fun with that passage. You’ll read it later on. There’s a few others. Moses functions kind of as a priest kind of as a King David at one point he’s a King but he also is wearing these glamorous garbs and he’s functioning somewhat in a priestly role. All of these together. But there’s never quite the right one. There’s never quite the right one. Who’s able to have unique access to God? Well at the same time ruling the earth in a way that brings justice and righteousness and over and over again and the pivotal prophecies we’re looking for that one who is the one who will be the King? Who’s the one who will be the priest? I know who it will be. It will be the Messiah. Do you know what Messiah means? The anointed one.
Do you know the only two parties that are anointed with oil in the old Testament are yes. [inaudible] And because of Jesus’ finished work on the cross, we are invited in him to a special position of reigning priests just like our savior. We are under him but we have that. We are a special treasured possession, possession by God and that of all the people of the earth, he is uniquely called us to rule with him. He is uniquely called us to stand before him. It is that particular privileged, precious position that’s listed here. It’s particular in that we’ve been chosen of all the peoples of the world. It’s a privilege in that we have unique, unique access to God like a baby has unique access to her mother when you lies in her arms, it’s precious in that everything that our heart longs for is given to us in that relationship with God and it’s a position that cannot or will not change.
You are a kingdom of priest. We as a believers live in an already not yet age. We are given a stewardship by God to bring blessing and righteousness to the nations and we do so through the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is why Paul and Clawson’s chapter one verse six uses Genesis like language about filling the earth and it multiplying about the gospel. Revelation five 10 demonstrates that there is coming a day, one day when we will literally rule with Christ on earth. But until that day, we have been given the stewardship of ruling by introducing people to the righteousness of Jesus Christ and to the blessing of Jesus Christ through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We long for that day, we logged for the day, one day in the future when the knowledge of God will fill the earth as the waters fill the sea. We long for that day when peace will flow like a river. When the nations turn their weapons into cultivation equipment. When the Wolf lies down with the lamb, when justice and righteousness are fully established here on earth, we long for that day and it will happen one day. But today we are a kingdom of priest to God in that we are a steward of his gospel.
Not only that, we are not only a kingdom of priests, we are a Holy nation. We are Holy nation is use of nation here helps us to connect the dots back throughout the biblical narrative and remember that of all of the people God chose Abraham, you didn’t choose the big, the powerful nations. Peter calls us a Holy nation to today. First Peter chapter two we’re not all of the same nationality. In fact, he says just a few verses after it. In first Peter chapter two that we though we are a Holy nation, we are sojourners and exiles. We’re immigrants. In other words, we are not a nation that’s bound by borders. We’re not a nation that’s bound by ethnicities or languages or governmental structures or flax. We are a nation of every people group of every tongue of every nation, of every social standing of every financial standing. We gathered together around the world today to worship our King. Our actions are adjudicated by the law that’s been written on our hearts through the Holy spirit that’s been given to us. Our ideal is love, true love, the kind of love that sacrifices for others. Good.
We are called a Holy nation. Holiness has more to do with what we are called to not away from. It is not so much as being separated from one thing as it is being devoted to something else like fine China. It’s not that you can’t use fine China for your jello cup. It’s that the fine China is reserved for the special occasions. You today are reserved for a special duty as a Holy nation to God. We are not Holy in our in the sense that we keep ourselves on touched from the world. We’re not Holy in the sense that we walk on the other side of the street when the sick come by or the centers like be in in the road. We don’t huddle in small isolated compounds for fear of being conformed by the world. No, we fearlessly go into our communities, into the world.
We wage war against our sinfulness. We wage war to sacrifice to help people out of their sinfulness. Our mission is blessing and righteousness through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are gods. We will live as God’s Holy people. We will live as set apart to do God’s Holy will. That’s our calling. So in this passage, when it says that God has delivered us through his own power to make us his treasured possession, his kingdom of priests is Holy nation so that we will obey him. Oh Bay his voice, listen to his voice, keep his covenant. My challenge. My question is very simple for you today, are you going to, let’s close in prayer and invite the musicians to come up to sing a couple more songs and we can do our offering. It’s quiet your hearts to God right now. I want you to think about what God has called you to. Are you being a kingdom of priests and a Holy nation in your calling? Father w we, we, we so often forget our identity. We forget who we are. We forget what we’ve been called to do. We forget that we’re your treasured possession that’s been saved. All of grace, all of your precious working and not of ourselves. We forget that unique access we have to you. We forget that you’ve called us to rule, bring justice and righteousness and blessing to the world through the gospel of Jesus Christ. We forget that we’re set apart to your calling to your commission. Matthew 28- we forget that. So call us and consecrate us. Call us to devote ourselves to your glorious costs. In your precious name. Amen.