"Then you shall know that I have sent this commandment to you, that My covenant with Levi may continue,' says the LORD of hosts." Malachi 2:4
Text: Exodus 28 : 1
THE INTRODUCTION OF A PRIESTHOOD
In patriarchal times, there was no need for a priesthood. The patriarchs could raise an altar and effect worship along very simple lines. However those days had long gone. Israel had become a nation and it was time to move on to the next level of spiritual growth and maturity. God introduced the idea of a priesthood!
THE COVENANT WITH LEVI
The prophet Malachi wrote about the subject of the Levitical priesthood in his book. He described the priesthood as a special covenant that God gave to Levi, thus giving the honour to one of the original twelve sons of Jacob. In God’s grace extended to the sons of Levi, God promised that He would bless their lives significantly, if they would only walk in His ways!
AN AMAZING STORY OF GRACE
That the family of Levi should be singled out for this task speaks of wonderful and extra-ordinary grace! Before Jacob passed on, he had this to say about Simeon and Levi.
“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.
Let not my soul enter their council;
Let not my honour be united to their assembly;
For in their anger they slew a man,
And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.
Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.”
The angry, violent Levi of whom Jacob was ashamed was now singled out and given great honour. His descendants would serve the Lord as His priests. What grace the Lord extended to the Levitical family! From the family of Levi, the line of Aaron was chosen to receive special honour! They would serve as priests in the Tabernacle!
A HOLY CALLING
The Lord Himself would have to personally name the people whom He would appoint to the priestly office, in order to prevent any misunderstanding. (Any tribe would love to be chosen for the priestly office)!
“Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him,
from among the children of Israel, that he may minister
to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu,
Eleazar, and Ithamar.”