MEMORY VERSE: Seeing then that we have a great high priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.” (Hebrews 4:14)
TEXT: Leviticus 8:1-36; 9:1-24
BASIC FACTS ABOUT PRIESTHOOD MINISTRY
The Lord God Almighty desires to relate with His people. This desire began from Garden of Eden, where God would come down in His glory to fellowship with Adam and Eve at the cool of the day. He wants to be Father unto all mankind as He sees us as His children. He is our God and He desires that we are His servants. Israelites had been under the orientation of idolatry serving the idol gods of Egyptians in those four hundred years of their slavery in Egypt. Now that God had delivered them by the stretched of His hands, their orientation must be changed. As a result their object of worship must be Almighty God only and not the lifeless objects they were worshiping in Egypt.
Our Heavenly Father never leaves us in darkness about how we can worship Him in an acceptable manner. For this fact, He packaged all His commandments and instructions relating to the building of the Tabernacle and the day to day operations of the Temple, which is the meeting point between God and man, and revealed them to Moses on Mount Sinai in those 40 days and night of his sojourn to implement among the Israelites.
Therefore Moses, the God appointed leader of Israelites did not just wake up one day and began to set up the tabernacle of God in the wilderness. Everything he did regarding the building of the temple and how it was administered was by the express commandment of God. So God spoke and commanded Moses what to do. Moses obeyed and implemented God’s commanded among the Israelites. You will notice the patterns in the text passages above.
In other to be qualified to become a priest in Israel of old, you must be a Levite and from the descendant of Aaron. To become pastor or elder under Christian dispensation, you must be spiritually adopted by the blood of Jesus Christ through salvation. In order word, you must be born again and be filled with Holy Spirit. “Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” (Acts 6:3) The priest of old must be free of bodily defects, must be properly married and their children must be in right standing with God. (Leviticus 21:16-24) Similar standard is applicable under Christian dispensation. 1 Timothy 3:1-5
God Himself appoints the priest of His temple. God may use human being to point out a leader to the people, but behind the scene of the human activities, God Himself appoints His own leaders. “And Aaron and his sons thou shalt bring unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and shalt wash them with water… And thou shalt gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest’s office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and thou shalt consecrate Aaron and his sons.” (Exodus 29:4, 9) God appointed Aaron and his sons
CONSECRATION OF THE PRIEST
The priest is the last item in the temple. The priest is the only living item that became the part of the temple. Every other items of the temple had been anointed and made holy. Human servants in the temple–the officiating priest–must be sanctified and made conformable and compatible with the holiness in the temple. It is then and only then when the environment is conducive in righteousness and holiness that the Shekinah glory of God or the Pillar of Fire can manifest in the temple.
The commandment relating to the consecration of the Priests in Israel was given unto Moses on Mount Sinai and the detail of it can be found in Exodus Chapter 29.
There are specific ingredients of consecration that must be gathered and brought to the door of the tabernacle for the consecration of the priest. Exodus 29:1-3 Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread
Consecration of a priest was an elaborate ceremony among Israelites. It was obedience to the commandment of God. It took place at the door of the temple in the presence of the people in a dignified manner. It is intended to serve two important purposes. Firstly, to prepare them in holiness for their spiritual offices. Secondly, to celebrate them as appointed ministers and present them for recognition as the spiritual leaders to the people.
- Moses washed Aaron and his sons with water and enrobed them with priest garment.
- Moses anointed the tabernacle and also anointed Aaron and his sons.
- Moses made a sin offering with bullock. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the animal. The animal is slew and Moses put its blood upon the horns of the altar and the rest at the bottom of the Burnt Offering and burn all the inwards of the animal on the altar
- Moses made a sweet savor offering with a ram. Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the animal. The animal is slew and Moses sprinkled its blood upon the altar, cut the rest into pieces and burnt it on the Altar of Burnt Offering.
- Moses brought the other ram of consecration. Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon it. The ram was slain and Moses took its blood upon the tip of Aaron’s right ear, upon the thumb of his right hand and upon the great toe of his right legs. The same was done unto his sons. Unleavened bread, unleavened cake, cake of oiled bread and wafer and the inward parts of the animal were placed in the hands of Aaron and his sons and wave them as a wave offering before the Lord. Moses took them from their hands and burn on the altar of Burnt Offering. Lastly, Moses took the breast of the ram and wave it
- Moses took anointing oil and the blood from the altar and sprinkled it upon Aaron and his sons and sanctified Aaron and his sons and their garment. From that moment they became holy, whatever touches them will become holy.
- Finally, Moses took the consecration ram and seethe at the door of the tabernacle, with the bread of the presence and gave them to Aaron and his sons to eat, thus the anointed and consecrated priest partook in the atonement offering in temple.
- Moses executed all the instructions relating to the consecration of the priest according to the commandments of God. Perhaps we are wondering why these steps were taken, the Lord God Almighty prepared His servants to fit in into the purposes of their calling. He also separated them unto Himself to become unique individuals for their services unto the Lord in the Temple. He set them apart in holiness and sanctified them for the holy services in the Temple. All these steps are pointing out to us how detailed we need to be in our preparation for the service in the vineyard of God.
DIVINE APPROVAL OF PRIESTHOOD MINISTRY–Exodus 29:44-46; 40:34-35
In summary let us put the following into consideration:
- The wholesome of our body, our appearance, our utterance, our lives, our conduct should be consecrated in holiness for the glory of God–Psalm 19:14–“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.”
- We must seek the face of God according to His commandment of holiness and righteousness, not according to how we feel or any human devices of the flesh.–John 4:23-24 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
- When we enter the presence of God we must come with faith and expectation that He will fulfill what He had promised.–Hebrew 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”
- The Lord always encourage the faithfulness of His people and as a result He appended His divine approval upon the faithful implementation of Moses processes of consecration of the priest in holiness and completion of the temple as He had commanded Him.–Genesis 22:15-18 I pray that the Lord may endow all His faithful servants the grace to operate in obedience of God’s commandment and demonstrate holiness in our services unto Him, in Jesus name, Amen