“For the lips of the priest must preserve knowledge, for he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty, and people seek instruction from his mouth. »Malachi 2: 7
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a special possession of God, so that you may proclaim the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. “1 Peter 2: 9
Malachi 2: 7 made me think. The work of a priest, among other things, was to preserve knowledge because he was the messenger of God, and he was to live a holy example as people sought him as God’s representative for instruction. The priest also had direct access to God, when all the appropriate protocol was performed. What got me thinking was the correlation we should see between Malachi 2: 7 and 1 Peter 2: 9. It reminds us of the importance of a priest and the expectation of God’s people now.
Do we really see ourselves as a special remnant, a set apart and a people called to preserve their knowledge and proclaim their praises? As followers of Christ, we are a people challenged to live differently. Accepting Christ as our Savior is not the only goal. Accepting Christ is the start and living a life of being sanctified and making more disciples while proclaiming His praises is what God envisions for us.
We are chosen for a reason. God doesn’t save us just to let us sit on a shelf and be a trinket. He saves us to be his witness around the world. He wants us to shine the light of Christ in the darkness. He could do it without us, but he chose us to participate in his mission.
Some priests have had the privilege of entering the very presence of God. It was so that they could mediate between God and His people. As disciples of Christ with a better covenant, we can draw near to God ourselves, which was unheard of and punished with death in the old covenant. We are not worthy on our own to approach God, but through Jesus’ sacrifice we have received his righteousness and ability to come before the presence of our mighty and holy God, needing every other mediator besides our blessed Jesus.
Peter tells us that Israel was the original holy nation, but thanks to the unifying gift of Jesus, we can all share that title. With this title come the expectations of living differently. It hit me as I wondered how good we are at living differently from the world. Not every lover of Christ will look the same as the cookie cutter, but there should be a marked feature of holiness, purity, and light in our way of life that cries out, I don’t live for this world. . As a special possession of God, do we find comfort, security, and challenge in living as something more?
Knowing that we belong to God should inspire us to think and act in ways that designate and honor him not only from time to time, but always. Do we realize that we are not ours? Do we take the Word of God at face value and decide to live by it – all of it?
It seems to me that we might have lost sight of the holiness of God. God cannot look at ungodliness. We see it in the Levitical law, we see it in the psalms, we see it when He looked away from Jesus on the cross. As those chosen to be knowledge keepers and messengers of the Lord Almighty, we are wanted for insight, instruction, and truth, and we need to draw a few lines in the sand.
The lines in the sand date back thousands of years. These lines show the line that we do not want to cross. We could all certainly benefit from re-evaluating our lines and redefining them. As ambassadors of Christ, it is our duty to teach others on the eternal way. My mind is saddened by what I see in the world. I shudder to imagine what our holy and righteous Creator is thinking when he looks down.
Not being confrontational, I have a hard time knowing how to call people to the heart of God without appearing more holy than you because I too stumble, fall and waste. Maybe this is where the line in the sand helps. Perhaps by keeping these lines well defined and visible to all, we can live as a light without being judgmental, and the Spirit of Truth will open up opportunities over time to speak the truth.
God does not take pleasure in those who back down, but neither does He approve of those who burn bridges. Wisdom and patience are the order of the day. It is not for us to judge, but it is our duty to teach in love.
Consider this: what if we left others to their merry ways, and in the end they heard, far from me, you wicked, when they thought their ways were good.
Will you join me in praying on how to redefine the lines that Christ’s followers must maintain and determine to listen to the Spirit on how to proceed? We need to stop fooling ourselves into thinking that the easy life of self-pleasure is okay. We are called to live for so much more. It is not our home and the pleasures of this world are not acceptable to the Saint who redeems us for his good designs.
Judith Cooley teaches language arts and drama. Follow his @pondervotional Facebook page for more encouragement.