March 18, 2019

A Family Priest

Job 1:1-5

Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of [his children] ... This was Job’s regular custom

—  Job 1:5

Job was a father who thought about his children and their relationship with God. He even made sacrifices for them, as sort of a family priest. “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts,” he thought. We are told he did this regularly.

The true idea of the priesthood was ordained by God. Before Jesus fulfilled the priesthood perfectly, God appointed priests throughout the Old Testament. After bringing his people out of Egypt, God ordained Aaron and his sons to be priests (Exodus 28:1-3). From then on, Aaron’s descendants served Israel mainly as mediators between the people and God. This work involved offering sacrifices for the people and fulfilling other regulations required in the law given through Moses (see Leviticus).

At various times in their history when Israel fell away from God, the priesthood declined. Families struggled to find a God-fearing priest descended from Aaron. A priest was needed to mediate between an unholy people and the holy God.

You may not see yourself as a priest, but, like Job, whenever you pray for a family member or another loved one, that is a way of being a priest. Many believers have a long list of people they pray for daily. Are you someone who does that? If so, you are fulfilling the role of a priest.

Father in heaven, bring to mind for me today the people you want me to pray for. May I lift them up before you in love and compassion. Bless them and draw them close to you, Lord. In Jesus, Amen

About the author — Pete Byma

Pete Byma has served as a pastor of congregations in Michigan and in Washington state. Serving now as a pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he is also a consultant/coach for churches experiencing conflict, and he enjoys equipping and establishing people in ministry. He is married to Cheri, and they have four grown children and six grandchildren. Pete is also a registered soccer official and enjoys bicycling.

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