“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Exodus 19:5-6
If you where asked to describe yourself to someone else what would you tell them?
If you’re like me you’d find this difficult. Not that there’s nothing to tell. Quite the opposite. There’s too much to tell and, since you know you can’t say everything, you’ve got to decide what to tell, what not to tell, and where to start.
If I were to list just four one word descriptors of myself in order of their importance to who I am this is what they would be; I’m a christian, husband, father and pastor.
The reason I’ve chosen these four is because I believe that these are essential parts of who I am that God has called me to. I didn’t chose them. God chose them for me and I chose to follow where he was leading.
God chose the children of Israel. Because he’d chosen them they were his people and our focus text tells us God’s plan for them was that, if they’d obey him and keep his commandments, they’d be to him a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”
The Jewish people, as a nation, never lived up to God’s calling for them. What that means is that they didn’t listen to God and they didn’t obey him. The New Testament of the Bible records the coming of Christ and the transfer of the ministry of God’s covenant of salvation to the world from the people of the Jews to the Christian Church. The only thing is that as a whole Christians haven’t been any better than the children of Israel were when it comes to listening to God and keeping his laws.
The problem is that, like Israel, most of us have never really embraced the identity God’s called us to. We see ourselves as human beings, as men and women, as Americans, or whatever nation we identify with, as carpenters, businessmen, teachers, painters, musicians or a plethora of other important but completely earthly ways of seeing ourselves and don’t really ever lay hold of the identity God’s called us to.
We’re a holy nation, a royal priesthood and we become this because we listen to God and obey his commandments.
The twelfth chapter of the book of Revelation describes a remnant of God’s people that finally fulfill the call of God. This people keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. This mean that they’re obedient to God and they listen to him. And because of this they can be who he’s called them to be and go where he’s called them to go and do what he’s called them to do.
God’s calling all of us to be that remnant, that chosen generation, that holy nation, that royal priesthood. Will you chose to listen and obey.