Many believers in Christ speak flippantly of their priesthood to God. They mostly cherish the idea but give little thought to what it entails. Many assume they are just alright and claim that all are priests and are therefore equal.
But this is not the whole the truth.
According to 1 Peter 2, all believers in Christ are priests,
“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.” (1Pet 2:9).
However, in the Old covenant being a priest of the LORD was a privileged position that came with a heavy responsibility on the part of the priest. The priest of the LORD under the New Covenant also occupies a privileged position that comes with serious responsibilities.
Hence, it is very essential for the priests to know what is demanded of them as priests under the New Covenant instituted by Christ so they can apply themselves in obedience to the Lord. It is also wisdom for the priests to know what mistakes other priests before them made and to avoid similar errors as they carry out their services to the Lord.
A major responsibility of the priest is to honour God. This is one area we need to look at as many of the priests under the Old Covenant did not measure up in this area.
Hence, the personal question that you ought to answer sincerely: “Are You Honouring God?” And this is the title of this writeup.
“A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: If then I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear? Saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?” (Mal 1:6).
Israel gone into apostasy
The nation of Israel had gone into apostasy and were deep in idol worship. There was much injustice and wickedness in the land. The priesthood was not excluded from the corruption.
Rather, the priesthood imbibed the corruption and became more so that the general population. They became careless in their service for God.
God was angry and spoke about the judgement He was going to administer upon the people. He then turned to the priesthood. He first detailed a bit of their sins for them to see. Our text is a portion of their sins as detailed by God.
Israel was initially constituted by God as the chosen people of God, “a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.” (Ex 19:6, cf. Lev 19:2; 20:26; Deut. 7:6). God then instituted the priesthood in which Aaron and his sons were picked to represent the whole nation of Israel before God under the old covenant (Ex 28:1; Num. 18:7).
The priests were special, and they had to be specially consecrated for the service of God. They served in the temple and carry out all worship services. The priests profess God as their Father and master.
They were to put their profession into practice by their love and referential fear. This is what is demanded even for their earthly parents (Ex 20:12). They were leaders of the people. They stand between the people and God.
They were supposed to know and understand their privileged position, and the thing required of them by God.
But they had developed a selfish, self-satisfied, complacent attitude towards God and their service to God.
And so, they questioned God as to what He has accused them of:
“And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?”
Their sin of insensibility emboldened them to such a level that they had become blind to the love of God and their own guilt before God.
Hence their questioning God’s love for them,
“I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, wherein hast thou loved us?” (Mal 1:2).
The priests dishonoured God
It is like saying to God,
“But we serve you and do our best for you every day. What else do you expect from us? And by the way, what have you done for us? How else can we do again? Just let us be!”
They had forgotten God, who He is in His person, and especially to them:
- The creator of heaven and earth,
- Their creator; their provider and protector,
- The one who delivered them and chose them to serve Him.
- The reason why they live.
Many believers have gone apostate
The environment of believers today are in similar to the days of the priesthood:
- The environment is corrupted and ungodly.
- And many have allowed the pollution of the world around them to contaminate them.
- Though, they are still apparently believers, they no longer reference nor fear God.
- Unfortunately, many believers have become apostate as they have gone the way of the ungodly as a way of life.
- On the surface and for all to see, they seem like and behave like believers. But their hearts are really with their idols.
Please examine yourself
- Where are you, brother, sister with the Lord?
- Have you been ensnared by the ungodly world around you?
- Are you playing church thinking you are deceiving others or even God?
- Is the Lord still your first love or you are now lukewarm?
- Still referencing and fearing God or just going through the motions?
- Have you gone the way of the world, paying lip service to God but doing your own ungodly things?
Only you can answer these questions and many more on your own behalf. But please be sincere for the essence of this is so you can rectify any errors of your ways as soon as possible.
Remember, the Lord Himself called attention to the discrepancy in those who profess to call Him Lord but were not obeying Him,
“And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46).
He then illustrated the contrast between those who only profess, and those who not only profess but follow their profession with practical life of obedience: Mr. Rocky House and Mr. Sandy House (Luke 6:47-49).
Please, think again. Do not pass off this opportunity. Repent and be restored to the Lord.
May the LORD God Almighty uphold you, ever ensuring that His grace is sufficient for you unto the day of the LORD in Jesus’ Name, Amen