Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine. And you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. (Exodus 19:5-6)
A very important and recurring principle is revealed in the events leading up to what happened at Mount Sinai. Put simply, God establishes relationship with His people first and then He explains to us how we are to live in a covenantal relationship. Where Israel was concerned, first He delivered them from Egypt and saved them from Pharaoh in order to bring them into covenant with Him. More specifically, they were saved because they trusted in the blood of a lamb. In fact, those who didn’t trust God’s instruction to put the blood of a spotless lamb upon their door, perished.
After this, He brought them to Sinai to give them instructions in how to live according to His standards. In other words, obedience follows salvation. They weren’t told to do certain things in order to be saved but were told to do certain things because they had been saved. “If” they were faithful to live according to the terms of the covenant, they would be regarded as a “special treasure” — literally “jewels” — and a “kingdom of priests.”
I say this principle is recurring; it was first hinted at in the very beginning when God established that every seed is to reproduce after its own kind. The hint is that, in order that fruit may appear, there has to be a seed. Messiah was the seed that went into the ground to die that there might be an abundance of fruit. We place our trust in Him, the spotless Lamb of God, in order to be reconciled back to the Father. As Paul said, we are saved by faith, not by works.
However, once we have been born again of the Incorruptible Seed, there is an expectation of fruit. In other words, if we are to be considered as a “kingdom of priests and holy nation,” there is a way we are supposed to live. He delivered us from the bondage of sin that we might be empowered to live according to His Word. In turn, producing the fruit of His Word serves as an example to others; we function as a kingdom of priests demonstrating the distinction between what is holy and what is not. Let us always remember that we are here to faithfully represent our King to this world. There is a way we are supposed to live as an expression of the fact that we are His treasures and His priests.
Blessings and Shalom,