priests and a holy nation.' These are the wordsthat you shall speak to the sons of Israel." Ex. 19:5-6
The passage from Exodus 19 is the LORD’s covenant vows that He made with the children of Israel after He brought them out of Egypt. This passage can be likened to the covenant ceremony when Israel stepped into thecovenant that the Lord told Abraham about in Genesis 15. These verses are the Lord’s “wedding” vows when Heofficially betrothed Himself to the nation of Israel forever (Jeremiah 2:2). The vows describe Israel as the Lord’shighest treasure, and what He was vowing to make them into, a kingdom of priests.
Here we see the purpose of this covenant. Here we see the heart of why the covenant exists; we see the purpose of God’s betrothal to man; we see what the end result of what this covenant will produce - The entire purpose for God’s covenant with man is the Lord wants a Kingdom of Priests. This promise is like like every other promise inthe bible for the Jew first and then the gentile.1.Instead of having a few set apart people that serve as priests on behalf of the rest of the people, the Lord’sintention for covenant was He wanted a kingdom where every single person would function as a priest.
O priests who despise My name. But you say, 'How have we despised Your name ?' 7 "You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, 'How have we defiled You?' In that you say, 'The table of the LORD is to be despised......10"Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar ! I amnot pleased with you," says the LORD of hosts, "nor will I accept an offering from you. 11 "For from the rising of the suneven to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name,and a grain offering that is pure ; for My name will be great among the nations," says the LORD of hosts. Malachi 1:6-7, 10-11
In the passage above from Malachi ch. 1 the Lord is rebuking the priesthood in Israel for dishonoring their duties as priests and not taking their priesthood seriously. Israel’s priesthood became disconnected from the awe having theHOLY one dwell in their midst and thus started to despise their unique privilege to be the only people on the earthwho were able to stand before and minister to the one true God. They Lost the fear of the Lord and began to takeHis presence for granted.
The Lord tells them in Malachi 1:11, that because they have despised their priesthood the Lord was going to go andoffer the ministry of the priesthood to someone who would actually appreciate His presence... the gentile nations of the earth. This prophecy would have been an utter shock to the nation of Israel based upon the protocol of the Lawof Moses that said that no gentile foreigner could even come near the inner courts of the temple much less becomethe priests of the temple! A gentile priest was the last and most ridiculous ideas to the jewish mind; and God basically tells them, “OK since you are communicating to me through your actions that you don’t want this priesthood then I am going to give it to the least likely ones....the gentiles. He tells them in essence that when the plan of redemption is all said and done, that He will have a priesthood who will offer pure sacrifices of praise inevery place in every nation, in every people group, and everywhere upon the planet....forever. Why? Because Hisname will be seen as great and all the people all over the earth would build “altars” of worship and prayer unto Hisgreatness (i.e. Is. 2:11-12; Ps. 46:10; 22:27; 66:1-4; 67:3-7; 86:9; 138:4-5; 148:13)
"Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with thehouse of Judah-- not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand tolead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them