"You are a chosen race of God, priests of the King, a holy nation, a people that God has acquired so that you may proclaim the virtues of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Before you were nobody, but now you are the people of God. Before you did not know the mercy of God, but now you enjoy it fully. "
1st Peter 2: 9-10
Daily Bible (paraphrasing)
To understand the heart of God a little better and we can draw great lessons for our lives, we will study about:
1.- THE PRIESTHOOD IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
The Word of God shows us in the Old Testament that God gave a priesthood, under the law, to the children of Israel. The purpose of God was to have a just nation and to live in a priestly (spiritual) communion with him, and that is why he called and chose the people of Israel from among all the nations of his time to be a nation of priests.
When you see and analyze this, you realize that our God is a God sensitive to the needs of the human being, and wants to relate to his creatures, because among other things, the priesthood in its beginnings responded to the deepest needs of the human heart , because the human being was created to have a fluid and correct relationship with God its creator.
* Ex. 19: 5-6 -> Read.
* Levt.26: 3-6; 14-17 -> Confront -> "Blessings of Obedience and Consequences of Disobedience".
As Levt indicates.26 the people of Israel disobeyed and God did not make them a kingdom of priests because they did not fulfill their part in the Covenant they made with God. Because of this, God gave him an inferior priesthood (the Levitical or Aaronic priesthood) that would be his tutor who could lead them to Christ or in whom they could again become heirs of the same promise, since it is only in Jesus Christ where the people of God are complete (Col.2: 9-10) Read.
1.1) The father as priest at the time of the patriarchs.
In the days of the first patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc.), the father was the priest of the whole family, and this honor and responsibility to exercise the priesthood passed to the son at the death of the father. This practice continued until the Law of Moses transferred his right to the tribe of Levi from whose tribe the priests came to Israel as a nation.
The law that Moses received from God at Sinai required parents to have a genuine commitment to God, because they were to train their children in the knowledge of God and its laws (Deut.4: 9-13; 6: 4-9 ) Read.
Seeing this great teaching that the people of Israel leave us; Today, the people of God and especially the father as spiritual leader delegated by the same God must assume or occupy his priestly role to cover and meet the needs of each member of his family. In other words, God wants today to restore paternity and an area of it is the spiritual responsibility of the father over the whole family.
To say also, that something to take into account as something very important is the motivation that leads to it, since this must be the love of God and his people, because to love is to satisfy needs and based on this, we can contribute something very valuable for the extension of the kingdom of Christ. Because our failure as spiritual leaders in our homes will be the limitation in bringing to fulfillment the mission that the Lord Jesus Christ has entrusted to us for humanity (Mt.28: 19-20), since we will not be able to take others where we have never arrived.
Therefore, God demands that as spiritual leaders of our families we occupy our place as true priests and be:
1.1.1) True Spiritual Leaders.
Men who know how to establish direction and direction with a genuine love born of a heart that really knows God and spends time with him. Because the greatest longing for him is that his family can fulfill the purpose for which God created them. Be a blessing (Gen. 12: 3) Read.
1.1.2) True Protectors.
Men who protect (not justify) their families from harmful influences and know how to set guidelines that avoid unnecessary suffering in the future. For this reason it is very important that we are very clear that after God (as someone said) "The family is the capital r that a human being can have".
In 1 Samuel 3 we see an example of what a true spiritual leader does NOT have to do who loves his own. Priest Eli is the living example of a father who refused to recognize a specific need in his family.
Why did God awaken Samuel insistently on several occasions?
What was the Lord trying to say ?.
The answer is in 1 Sam.3: 11-12 where we are told:
"And the Lord said unto Samuel, Behold, I will do one thing in Israel, that his ears shall be tingled with him that heareth it. On that day I will fulfill against Eli all the things that I have said about his house, from the beginning to the end. "
These verses show us that God himself, in the same way that he was very concerned about the departure of Eli's family, is also very concerned about us and about the departure of our families. Therefore, he told Elí something very important in estar 13:
"And I will show him that I will judge his house forever, because of the iniquity that he knows; because his children have blasphemed God, and he has not hindered them. "
This passage makes it clear to us that Eli knew that the thing was not going because he was not fulfilling his role within the home as: Priest (spiritual leader), Protector and Provider of his own. All this leads us to a serious reflection:
Have there been times when as parents we knew something was wrong at home, but we have not intervened to correct it for comfort, fear, inexperience or insensitivity ?.
What should we do before a task of such great responsibility?
God has chosen the father for one of the most difficult positions of direction in the world: That of directing his home. Therefore, it is very difficult for the Church to resuscitate something that has been sentenced to death in the home. Therefore, let us occupy our place in love and let the Holy Spirit begin to act mightily, and let us be certain that if we do our part, he will not disappoint us.
1.1.3) True Suppliers. (1st Timt.5: 8) -> Read.
Being responsible before God to sustain, provide and satisfy all the needs of the family in militar and of each member in particular.
1.2) The Priesthood from Moses.
Since Moses received the law of God at Sinai, the people experienced a spiritual development including the priesthood. The high priest and in his absence the priest was the person who communicated with God representing the people and it was through him that God showed which direction the people should take. This shows us that the relationship between God and his people depended in large part on priestly work or ministry.
From here we come to the conclusion that the priest was the man who should know better than anyone the heart of God for spending a lot of time in his presence. However, the Old Testament sometimes shows us that this was not always the case and that is why the same people of Israel were deteriorating their relationship with God in the same way as their spiritual leaders did. "
Despite the hypocrisy that prevailed in some of the priests, God remained faithful, since they depended on tithes, offerings and the first fruits of the field and flocks (Deut.26: 12; Num.18: 12-19; 26-28). Because they, unlike the other tribes, God never gave them an inheritance, but told them that their inheritance would be that of God himself (Num.18: 20-21).
To also say that for us to fully understand the priesthood in the New Testament it is very important to understand what God's relationship with Israel was like in the Old Covenant, because as we have seen, Israel was called to be a nation of priests (Ex.19: 5-6) that will keep the Covenant, and will preserve saints (sections with a purpose) in the eyes of God.
For all this, we can say that the task of the priest was to ensure the sanctity of the people and therefore vicariously represented (instead of …) the nation before God, because she herself was unable to be holy. Hence, Aaron, along with his sons when he represented the nation, as high priest bore the names of the twelve tribes on his chest and clothed himself in a specific manner full of meaning to atone for the sin of the people in the most holy place (Ex. 28:29) -> Read
By way of conclusion in this study, we have to say that the great difference between the Old Testament priesthood and the New Testament priesthood is that in the Old Covenant man struggled to please and draw closer to God in the strength of the man who It does not take you anywhere. It felt the same way that today many people feel, since they want to reach God by their merits, efforts or works and sometimes they do not realize that this is not the way.
However, in the New Covenant man discovers that he can only approach God by grace, that is, through Jesus Christ and by making his own what he did on the cross by dying for our sins. The grace of God is so abundant that when a person by faith in Jesus Christ begins to walk as Christ indicates, amazing things begin to happen in his life, since Jesus reaches out and leads him to the very presence of God. No need to belong to a priestly caste because God does not respect people.