The Priests Are Ordained
Open Your Bible
Leviticus 8:1-36, Leviticus 9:1-24, Hebrews 4:15-16, Revelation 5:9-10
BY Oghosa Iyamu
“Be my guest.”
A simple invitation extended to good friends and new acquaintances, nearby neighbors and visitors from far away. Over the years, I’ve hosted countless guests. I watched as they sat at my large, rustic wooden table and gazed admiringly at the sparkling white dishware etched with intricate marble designs, complemented by the coated matte-black silverware.
“How do you keep it looking so pristine and beautiful?” guests often wonder. And my method is pretty simple: I set these particular dishes apart. They are given special cleansing and care to remain distinguished for their intended purpose of hosting guests.
In today’s reading, we encounter a different but rather unique kind of “set apartness” that distinguishes holy from ordinary––consecration unto God’s holy purpose.
Did you notice in Leviticus 8:10–12 how consecration—the setting apart—came before the offering in verse 14? Moses and Aaron were familiar with the laws and sacrifices required up to this point; however, consecration was still necessary for the priests’ ordination. Without being set apart, the priests would not be fit to carry out the holy assignment God had given them. It wasn’t their work that made them Levites and priests; it was God. Their responsibility and duty flowed not from their ability but their identity as those set apart unto God for His holy purposes.
As I curiously meditate on these verses today, I can’t help but wonder how easy it would have been in a culture of rhythms and requirements for these priests to merely offer ritual sacrifices to God without first allowing their lives to be consecrated. How easy it would have been to focus on calling before communion, to esteem responsibility over identity.
Dear sisters, let us not miss this practical truth: consecration must always precede duty (Leviticus 8:12). What you can do for God is secondary to who you are in God. Everything you do—any works of your hands—are an outflow of that unwavering identity. Have you found yourself chasing a calling before communion? Are you finding more worth in your responsibility rather than your identity?
If the answer is yes, let us remember the encouragement from Revelation 5:9–10, that God alone, and the shed blood of Jesus Christ, has made us worthy to be a kingdom of royal priests. Only when we remember this truth and serve out of that identity will we be the kind of vessels able to carry out our intended purpose.