ODJ: of words and priests

May 19, 2015 

READ: Malachi 2:1-9 

You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests (1 Peter 2:5).

My friend’s son loves building things. One time when he was just 10 years old, he tried to construct a treehouse from scratch. Although the structure looked pretty sound, upon close inspection its mounting wasn’t true. My friend’s son needed knowledge and instruction to create a wooden dwelling that was structurally solid and would last.

The words we speak to one another also need to be true—reflecting the wisdom of God. The prophet Malachi declared to Israel’s priests, “The words of a priest’s lips should preserve knowledge of God, and people should go to him for instruction . . . . [But] your instructions have caused many to stumble into sin” (2:7-8). And so God left them with this indictment: “You have not obeyed me but have shown favouritism in the way you carry out my instructions” (v.9).

The principles in Malachi extend to all of us when we consider the remarkable truth found in Exodus 19:6. God said to Moses, “ ‘You will be my kingdom of priests, my holy nation.’ This is the message you must give to the people of Israel.” The apostle Peter later picked up that theme and extended it to all believers: “You are living stones that God is building into his spiritual temple. What’s more, you are his holy priests. Through the mediation of Jesus Christ, you offer spiritual sacrifices that please God” (1 Peter 2:5).

The key to that amazing statement is the phrase through the mediation of Jesus Christ. Because of what He has done, Peter calls us God’s “holy priests”. Through Jesus our High Priest, we have become living stones—built into God’s true temple. And as part of that solid structure we offer His grace, truth, love and words to our searching world.

—Tim Gustafson

365-day-plan: Proverbs 4:1-27

Read 1 Peter 2:4-12. What promise does verse 6 contain? In verses 7 and 8, what warning is given to those who reject God? 
How do you approach the tension between truth, love and justice? Do you tend to be judgemental, or are you more likely to excuse obvious sin? How can you find balance?