Eastside Baptist Church
  • Created to Draw Near: Our Life as God’s Royal Priests by Edward T. Welch

    “Priests at Work” (Chapter 17)

    Priests came before Kings and Prophets.
    Manifold Duties of the Priests
    Priests at Work
    Holy Days
    Set Apart for the Ministry of the Priesthood
    Provision from the Offerings of the People
    “What the people gave to the Lord, the Lord shared with the priests and the Levites.” - Edward Welch
    No Inheritance other than the Lord
    Numbers 18:20 NIV
    20 The Lord said to Aaron, “You will have no inheritance in their land, nor will you have any share among them; I am your share and your inheritance among the Israelites.
    “When you get the Lord, you get everything else thrown in.” - Edward Welch
    Luke 12:32 ESV
    32 “Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
    Set apart by Ordination or Consecration
    Sin Offering
    Burnt Offering
    Ordination Offering
    Food Offering
    Meal at the entrance of the tabernacle
    “The ordination service was for the male offspring of Aaron, but we know where the story is going. All God’s people were soon to be included in this ordination process. The details of the service look different for us because all these sacrifices have been condensed into the work of Jesus. But the rhythm of life for the Aaronic priesthood continues to be the rhythm of our lives.” - Edward Welch
    The priests were:
    Cleansed from sin
    Devoted to the Lord
    Thankful for the Lord’s provision
    Blessed by his fellowship and care
    Division of duties
    Priests who oversaw the sacrificial system
    Daily burnt offering - continual pleasing aroma to the Lord for the entire night. Even while the people slept, the Lord was actively making a way for his presence to remain in the camp.
    Daily morning and afternoon services
    People came to the priests to offer various sacrifices.
    “To make an animal sacrifice, the worshiper laid hands on the animal and killed it near the entrance of the tabernacle. Everything was up close, participatory, and personal.” - Edward Welch
    8 different kinds of sacrifices
    Burnt offering - including burnt, sin, and guilty offerings. These involved the blood of animals and were for forgiveness of sin and purification and for expressions of devotion to God.
    Peace offering - including cereal, drink, grain, vow, freewill, and wave offerings. These involved an expression of personal devotion and perhaps reconciliation and fellowship with the Lord.
    “All of this created a pleasing aroma to the Lord, and it was God’s plan for meeting with his people (Ex. 29:42–43). Did the sacrifices earn God’s favor? No, they were in recognition of what God had done and would do, and they were effective because of his mercy. And the daily rhythm was gradually inculcated into the hearts of the priests and the people.” - Edward Welch
    The people were:
    Cleansed from sin
    Devoted to the Lord
    Thankful for the Lord’s provision
    Blessed by his fellowship and care
    Holy Days
    Common days and Holy days
    Holy days in cycles of seven
    Sabbath every seventh day of the week
    Day of Atonement in the seventh month
    Year for releasing debts is the seventh or sabbatical year.
    The Year of Jubilee is after the forty-ninth year, or seven times seven.
    Feasts and Festivals
    First festival - Passover and Week of the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Firstfruits
    Second festival - Seven weeks and a day later was the Feast of Weeks, later also known as Pentecost.
    Third festival - Seventh month was sanctified at the beginning with the Feast of Trumpets in preparation for the Day of Atonement 10 days later. On the fifteenth day of the seventh month was the Feast of Booths/Tabernacles, lasting a week.
    All of these were marked by special sacrifices, rest, and particular remembrances.
    Creation Week - the Sabbath is designated as Holy.
    “On the Sabbath God rested, and he invites us to rest with him. This is not so much that everyone takes a nap on the Sabbath. The point is that we don’t have to work, so we have time to meet with the Lord—and he meets with us. The point is shalom or peace, not sleep.” - Edward Welch
    A Sabbath for Slaves
    “With the Sabbath, God essentially proclaimed that his people were not slaves but a royal priesthood.” - Edward Welch
    Sabbath - an expression of trust in and dependence upon the Lord
    Manna - trust God to provide for the 7th day.
    “This meant that they were to trust in the Lord’s care for them more than in the work of their hands. Trust is essential to a relationship.” - Edward Welch
    Sabbath at harvest time - trust God to provide even with a day’s worth of harvesting lost.
    “The Sabbath was a good test for the soul. Trust does not come naturally; self-interest does. The Sabbath was an opportunity to say that all things come from the Lord.” - Edward Welch
    Sabbath - distinguished God’s people from their neighbors.
    Jesus reclaims the Sabbath from legalistic burdens.
    Matthew 11:28 NIV
    28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
    “In the Gospels, “on the Sabbath” is a marker that something important is about to happen. Jesus had come close, life was breaking in, heaven was piercing earth, and death was being pushed aside. Withered hands were being healed. Disciples were being fed. The Sabbath was a time for blessing, not burdens.” - Edward Welch
    The first day of the week - in remembrance of the Lord’s resurrection - became set apart for worship and rest.
    “The Sabbath reminds us that rest and peace can only be found in the Lord of the Sabbath.” - Edward Welch
    The Day of Atonement
    Sabbath dominated the weekly calendar
    The Day of Atonement dominated the yearly calendar.
    It was the only day when the curtain to the Most Holy Place was lifted for one representative of the people.
    Holiest of Holy Days - marked by fasting rather than feasting
    Bull and Ram - offered as a sin offering and burnt offering for the High Priest and his family
    Two Goats - for the people as a whole - one for a sin offering and one for a “scapegoat.”
    Leviticus 16:30 NIV
    30 because on this day atonement will be made for you, to cleanse you. Then, before the Lord, you will be clean from all your sins.
    “So many spiritual realities were crammed into this day. Sin was purged by a substitute acceptable to the Lord, blood was sprinkled to bring life to people who had been polluted, and the wandering goat took sins “as far as the east is from the west” as a way to illustrate how far God removes his people from their sins (Ps. 103:12). God was making a way to get closer. To use Genesis language, a new Adam could go past the cherubim that guarded the presence of God. The Day of Atonement assured the people that intimacy with the Lord was still the plan, but it would happen gradually.” - Edward Welch
    “As we bring these holy days into the present, what is most obvious is that our sins are our deepest and most profound problem. Our struggles with money, broken relationships, and poor health will be over when we see Jesus, but our sins have eternal implications unless they are sprinkled with the cleansing blood of the Lamb.” - Edward Welch
    “All modern-day priests, therefore, should be able to identify personal sins. We could put this more strongly: to be fully human is to know our sins, to know that the sacrifice of Jesus has taken our sins away from the presence of God, and to do battle against ongoing temptations.” - Edward Welch
    “The priestly story is that of God reclaiming us, bringing us close, and blessing us. The Lord is not under compulsion to show us this kindness. He blesses us because it is his nature. He is inclined to bless, he has made a way to deal with sin so he can bless, and we certainly need his blessing.” - Edward Welch
    Bless - to show favor
    Blessed - to experience the happiness and joy of such favor
    “When God speaks words over his creation, his creative power is put to work. Life appears. This happens with the earth, the sky, the seas, and with us. Blessing is God’s procreative power being brought to our lives. It is necessary for us if we are to live as he intends.” - Edward Welch
    John 10:10 ESV
    10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
    As those who have been blessed, God invites us to speak his blessing on others.
    Numbers 6:22–27 NIV
    22 The Lord said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them: 24 “ ‘ “The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” ’ 27 “So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.”
    “The Lord bless you and keep you.” - He is close enough to shade you from the sun, always awake, and protecting your very life (Ps. 121).
    “The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.” - The lampstand is in view as well as the light that is characteristic of his presence. The blessing is that you would know his rescue when you are overwhelmed.
    Psalm 80:3 NIV
    3 Restore us, O God; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
    “The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” - The Lord tells you that he sees and hears you. The face of the Father is toward his children. By his gentle care he will make things right and give deep and lasting peace.
    We have been called to bless others in the name of Jesus. This is a premiere feature of our priestly calling.
      • Numbers 18:20NIV2011

      • Luke 12:32NIV2011

      • Matthew 11:28NIV2011

      • Leviticus 16:30NIV2011

      • John 10:10NIV2011

      • Numbers 6:22–27NIV2011

      • Psalm 121NIV2011

      • Psalm 80:3NIV2011

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