February 8 - The Priestly Duties
Since we belong to a kingdom of priests and all believers are part of the priesthood, it is important for us to look at the duties of a priest in the Old Testament. To be a priest is to minister to God on behalf of the people of God. Aaron and his sons were to go into the Holy Place for regular ministry and into the Holy of Holies once a year to be in God’s presence under the Mercy Seat.
The first requirement for being a priest is to know God’s holiness. When one goes into His presence, he must be mindful of who God is and of what His requirements concerning the ministry are. We all have our own ministries in the church or outside of the church, but the greatest ministry for any believer is to minister to God, i.e. to go into His presence. God is holy and He is enthroned on the praises of His people. Because He is holy, those who minister to Him must also be holy.
The priestly garments are described in great details for it is an outward sign of the inward attitude as one approaches God. Other than many symbols representing the glory and beauty of the priesthood, God reminded the priests that they needed to be holy when coming into His presence. The bells on the bottom of his long robe must be there when he went into the Holy Place, the sound of the bells were to be heard or the priest would risk being struck dead by God’s holiness. The gold plate on the forehead of Aaron with the inscription: “Holy to the Lord” must be worn so that God would be pleased with him. Even the underpants must be made of fine linen to cover their nakedness lest they bear guilt and die. God takes the priestly office seriously, no one might approach Him with sin and live.
Two parts of the priestly garments deserve our attention: on the shoulder, the priest would bear the names of the twelve tribes on two onyx stones, as a part of the ephod and on the breastpiece of judgment on the breast were twelve gemstones with the names of the sons of Israel, also as a part of the ephod. Inside of the breastpiece, the Urim and Thummim would be placed for inquiring of the Lord. Aaron should bear the judgment of the people of Israel on his heart before the Lord. Other than doing the sacrificial offerings on the altar for the remission of his own sins and the sins of his people, the priest was to bear the people before the Lord and seek His will for the people.
The two parts of your ministry in this priestly model are to minister to God and to bear the burdens of His people before Him. You go to God for yourself and for others in the Kingdom. Worship and intercession are two sides of the same coin and the essential duties of the priesthood. Are you in such kind of ministry?
Ps 22:1-18 Exo 28:1-43 Matt 25:31-26:13 Prov 8:12-13