A Royal Priesthood
I pray you are doing well as we enter into this Fall season and finally some cooler temperatures. Over the last several weeks and continuing into the Fall semester, the Revive Sunday school class has been studying 2 Chronicles 29 where the Bible speaks of Hezekiah's reign in the kingdom of Judah. Just as a refresher, Hezekiah assumes the throne at the ripe old age of twenty five and he comes in a long line of wicked kings. Scholars believe his father, Ahaz, was responsible for re-arranging the holy place in the temple to make room for idols.
However, when Hezekiah takes the throne we see a completely different culture brought into the land of Judah. The Bible tells us the first thing Hezekiah did was re-open the temple doors and repair them (2 Chronicles 29:3). The next thing he does is extremely important. He calls together the priests and the Levites and he tells them to consecrate themselves and to consecrate the house of the Lord. The nation is in disarray and Hezekiah believes the only solution is for the presence of God to again be central to the life of His people. In order for this to occur, it is vital that the priests and the Levites again take up their position as ministers before the Lord God.
The connection between Hezekiah’s day and today is a profound one. 1 Peter 2 tells us that God has made all believers a chosen race and a holy priesthood set apart in order to minister to God and bring His light and peace in the nations. Hezekiah knew that if the priests and Levites did not stand up and again take their place, there would be no restoration in the nation. I believe the church stands in the very same place today. All around us we are seeing our nation crumble and deteriorate. The amount of violence, racism, and hatred we are seeing expressed in these days is truly disturbing. However, as the church, we must not run and hide. This is not a day to grow silent. If we, the holy priesthood, don’t stand up and take responsibility for what we are seeing in our nation, I believe we will not be able to be part of the solution.
This is no one else’s job. We are the ones who God has called to bring heaven to earth. We are the ones He has called to make disciples of all nations. We are the ones He has called to be ministers of reconciliation. At the end of his address to the priests and Levites, Hezekiah says, “My sons, do not now be negligent, for the Lord has chosen you to stand in his presence, to minister to him and to be his ministers and make offerings to him” (2 Chronicles 29:11).
I believe this is the same word to us as a church today. We must not be negligent. We are the ones who God has chosen to partner with to display His love and His grace to the nations. Today is the day of salvation. We must receive this mandate, say yes to God, and stand in our rightful place in these difficult days. May the grace of God and His Spirit help us to do it.
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