A People of Purpose
By: Apostle Skhumbuzo Sangweni
“And ye shall be unto Me A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS.” The full text reads, “Now, therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation.” (Exodus 19:5-6)
And just what is God’s purpose? He declares, “Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine: and ye shall be unto Me A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS.” Since kingship was virtually the only type of government or state known in the ancient world, “kingdom” could well be translated today as a “government” or “state.” A GOVERNMENT OF PRIESTS! A PRIESTLY STATE! A HOLY NATION OF PRIESTS! God offered to Israel this glory of being a “kingdom of priests.” ALL the tribes were to be priests. Because of their failure to enter the land at Kadesh-barnea and because they made and worshipped a golden calf while Moses was on the mountain receiving God’s law, only one tribe was chosen to be a priestly tribe and that not on behalf of the world, but on behalf of the unbelieving, rebellious people of Israel! God’s purpose remains, however, to have an entire nation of priests in the fullness of what priesthood means. Israel collectively was to be a royal and priestly race, a dynasty of kings and priests, each member uniting in himself the attributes of king and priest. Every man a king! Every man a priest! A kingdom of priests!
The Greek Old Testament (Septuagint) states that they were to be “a priesthood of kings.” It was intended to be the way of life, the office, the nature, the ministry of all Israel, not just a selected few. Israel’s would be a priestly way of life, with priestly dignity, priestly power and authority, priestly holiness and priestly character. God’s kingdom people were to be a priesthood set at the crossroads of the world to minister to all tribes and nations the things of God. They would become the holy people, the mediating nation for all the other nations. Ah, beloved, there is a realm of living and ministry that goes beyond just being a Christian, or attending Church meetings, or going through the motions of so many religious activities. God has always wanted a Kingdom of Priests. Priests and Kings … just like Jesus! One of the chief reasons for the weakness and immaturity of the popular Church is the mistaken idea that the saint’s happiness and blessing is the main object of God’s grace. A fatal error! God’s aim is far holier and far higher. He chooses out of the nations a people, and works into them all the triumph of HIS REDEMPTION, all the victory of HIS LIFE, that they in turn shall carry out His redemptive purposes on behalf of the whole creation. A Royal Priesthood! Ah, that is God’s aim, His purpose.