“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:6)
These were the words of God to Israel, even before they received the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. As a priest serves as an intermediary between God and men, so this “kingdom of priests” had been called by God to bring God’s Word to man. As a holy nation with such a high calling, its people also should have been holy (that is, consecrated to God) in life and witness. But instead, after almost 2,000 years, God had to lament: “All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people” (Romans 10:21).
A day will come when “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26), but God has, in the meantime, chosen a new people, in whom “there is neither Jew nor Greek . . . for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). We are now “one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (Romans 12:5).
We now have been given the same high privileges long ago given to Israel. We who belong to Christ have been “born again” into the “kingdom of God” (John 3:3), and this is nothing less than a kingdom of priests, a holy nation. The apostle Peter said: “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5).
Not only are we a holy priesthood, we are a royal priesthood, a kingdom of priest-kings. “Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an 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” (v. 9). We, indeed, have a high calling, and should devote our lives to showing forth His praises, for He “hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; unto him be glory and dominion for ever and ever” (Revelation 1:6). HMM