Peter Misselbrook's Blog
Aug 17 2011 - E100.21a – Exodus 19:1-8, A kingdom of priests

When, at the burning bush, the Lord had met with Moses to send him to rescue the Israelites from Egypt he had reassured him with this promise: "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain" (Exodus 3:12). God has been with Moses and has safely brought the Israelites through sea and desert to meet with him at this mountain – Mount Sinai.

And this is God's first word to the Israelites now that they have arrived at Sinai; "You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation" (19:4-6).

God's saving purpose for Israel does not involve his rejection of the rest of the world – the whole earth is his. He has saved and protected this people for the sake of his covenant, the covenant he made with Abraham through which he promised to bring blessing to all the nations of the world. The Israelites are to be a kingdom of priests; they are to act as mediators between the living God and the nations of the world, to be the means by which all nations enjoy the blessings promised by the God of Abraham. They are to become ministers of the covenant. They are to be careful never to think that God has chosen them and rejected the other nations; he has chosen them for the sake of the other nations – that they might be a light to the Gentiles.

The apostle Peter applies these words to predominantly Gentile churches in the first century (1 Peter 2:9). We have inherited this same promise and calling of God in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have been saved not so that God may reject the rest of the world but that God may bring his salvation and blessing to others through us. We have been made God's people in order that we might "declare the praises of him who called [us] out of darkness into his wonderful light", and that through such joyful declaration others might also be drawn out of the darkness. We have been saved so that through us God might bring his salvation to the ends of the earth.

Saviour God, thank you that you have brought me out of the darkness of self-seeking preoccupations into the light of the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you that you are with me, that I am your treasured possession and that you protect and lead me. Help me to see that the blessings you have given me in Christ are not for me alone but are for the whole world. Use me to bring others into your kingdom.

Peter Misselbrook