Well-fed, Happy Priests

God loves us so much that He freed us from our sins by Christ’s blood and has made us to be a kingdom and priests (Rev 1:5-6Open Link in New Window). As priests who minister before the Lord’s presence, there is a lot we can learn about worship from the Levitical regulations for priests.

Ordained for worship

When Aaron and his sons were ordained as priests, Moses washed them with water and they put on their priestly clothes (Lev 8:5-9Open Link in New Window). In the same way, we were baptized with water. And we are instructed to put on the full armor of God: the shield of faith, the belt of truth, shoes of peace, the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness and garments of praise. Moses took blood from a slaughtered ram and put it on Aaron’s right ear lobe, right thumb and right big toe. We, too, are covered by the precious blood of the Lamb of God.

Worship is a banqueting table

God commanded that the priests should share in the offerings. They were to eat the grain offerings and some of the meat of the animal offerings (Leviticus 7:6-10Open Link in New Window). The priests did not minister before the Lord without getting some benefit in the process. The same is true for us. When we serve in church, help someone, worship God or preach the gospel, isn’t it true that we receive much more in the process in terms of joy, deeper understanding and a sense of closeness with God? As we turn our hearts to the Lord and worship Him, He also deposits into us spiritual nourishment for our souls … a manna from heaven, if you will.

Two day old bread? No thanks!

Interestingly, the offerings were to be eaten by the priests on the day it was offered. Leftovers could be eaten the next day, not after that. If any of the meat of the sacrifice was eaten on the third day, then the whole offering was invalidated (Leviticus 7:16-18Open Link in New Window). In the same way, the blessing we receive during a special time of worship is great that day and maybe the next day. But we can’t be relying on the “word of the Lord” from last week or even two days ago. We need new manna everyday. We need to be in the Lord’s presence everyday.

Lord, You have made me to be a priest in Your kingdom to serve and worship before You. Father, fill me with Your Spirit as I worship You. On earth, Jesus’ food was to do Your will. As He served You, You nourished Him. Feed me with faith, strength, love and hope as I offer my life back to You. Just as fire came out from Your presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar when Aaron began his ministry, Lord, would You also send down fire from heaven. Let me burn like the burning bush was blazed with Your holy fire and yet was not burned up. Lord, would You give me the privilege of glorifying Your holy name?

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