Last week we saw how Israel was God's firstborn son: Every man, woman, and child He considered to be His firstborn.
And in Exodus 19: 6 we read: "And you will be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation."
Plan A was for the whole of the nation to be priests to Him. They even replied in v8: "All the things the Lord has spoken to us, we will do." How many of us have made a similar pledge upon receiving what we understood to be God's Plan A for our lives?
And then life happens.
They were called to be a kingdom of priests, serving Him in the ministry, the whole nation. Being a nation they had farmers, ranchers, shepherds, manufacturers, shop keepers and everything else a nation has in terms of how its citizens earn a living. But they were all priests to God. They were all equally priests to the Lord, yet had different functions - same for us today.
That means what they did for a living was irrelevant to them 'being in the ministry' as a nation of priests. How they earned a living didn't change their status as a kingdom of priests to God, for their lives were defined by the spiritual truth they were God's firstborn and a kingdom of priests. The same with us today. Christ is in us, we carry Him wherever we go, whatever we do. How you earn or earned a living is irrelevant to your spiritual status. There is no sacred versus secular for us: All is sacred. All you own, all you work at, all is sacred for Christ is in you.
Plan B, the firstborn
In addition to the whole nation being a kingdom of priests, the Lord claimed the firstborn children of Israel to be His own, for He bought them at Passover. The blood of an innocent lamb that He had ultimately provided was the purchase price, allowing Him to pass over their firstborn, so now He owned them.
I shared how they could buy back their firstborn, as Joseph and Mary did with Jesus. Or they could let the child grow up and serve the Lord in the temple as Hannah did with Samuel. It was their choice as parents and there was no right or wrong, it was just their decision. He owned the firstborn, but allowed parents to buy the child back. Most did buy back their firstborn.
His intent was that each firstborn would earn a living as a priest. The whole nation was a kingdom of priests, but some of them, the firstborn children, were supposed to earn their living in the temple. But the nation was an unruly bunch, and you know the story of how they started rebelling against the Lord and Moses just after leaving Egypt.
For the purposes of making the point, we'll call choosing the firstborn children Plan B. If not Plan A with the whole nation serving Him, then if He dealt with smaller numbers, the firstborn kids, maybe THEN because each family would have had someone in the ministry, the nation would serve God.
Enter Plan C
Plan A of the whole nation being a kingdom of priests wasn't working for Him, and neither was Plan B. So the Lord switched from taking all the firstborns of Israel for service in the temple, to the Levites. Perhaps He thought narrowing it down to the family of Moses and Aaron would assure Him a holy and dedicated family to serve in the temple. We don't know the reasoning, but He adjusted. We read of this decision in Numbers 8: 17-19:
"For all the firstborn of the children of Israel are mine, both man and beast; on the day I killed every firstborn in the land of Egypt I set them aside for myself. And I have taken the Levites to myself instead of the firstborn of the children of Israel. I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and to his sons from among the children of Israel, to do the service of the children of Israel in the tabernacle of the conjuration, to make an atonement for the children of Israel..."
And that is how we ended up with the tribe of Levi becoming a tribe of priests. Plan A was for the whole nation. Plan B was the firstborn, Plan C was Aaron's family.
But the Father goes full circle
Both Revelation 1: 6 and 5: 10 say of Jesus: "He has made us a kingdom (of) priests to God His Father..."
You see, the Father got His way. He now has a kingdom of priests in you and I. No more designated family, no more firstborn to serve Him. He went back to His original intent at Exodus 19: 6: "You will be a kingdom of priests unto me, and be holy." That is what He accomplished in Christ.
The Father's flexibility
I could close by linking more New Testament truths beyond Revelation 1: 5 and 5: 10, but my point has really been to show how the Father does have a plan A, B, and even plan C. We aren't taught that in church, but we know it to be true in our own lives. We've all vowed Plan A as Israel did, then life happened and we find ourselves in Plan B, C, or even Z.
Even Romans 12: 1-3 speaks of making our body a living sacrifice as we undergo a metamorphosis by the renewing of our mind to His ways and thoughts, so that we may discover God's good, acceptable, and perfect will in our lives. Life proves finding His perfect will is in fact a life-long process, oftentimes hit and miss.
We need to consider that where we are right now, right this moment, is God's perfect will for us
For today, we must do what He wants, whatever is set before us, He would have us do the right thing. That may be getting up and going to work, demonstrating the fruit of the spirit/Spirit to coworkers, being a peacemaker and the spiritual salt that preserves and seasons the office atmosphere. It may be fixing things around the house, visiting a sick loved one, etc. Whatever is before you today, that is His will for your to tackle today.
Right now lay all the questions aside and realize today, this moment, you are in the Lord's perfect will. It matters not if you think you are in Plan C or Z. If you consider today His will for you, you will seek Him to see what He wants. If you hold onto the idea you are on Plan C and boo hoo you missed God and boo hoo what does He think of you, and boo hoo you can't do anything for Him - you will stay in the rut you presently occupy.
Today, this is the day of salvation. Today, this is His perfect will for you. Today, this is the day to grow a bit more Christlike in character. The fact you are still breathing tells us He has most certainly adjusted His Plans A, B, and C for us - today is His perfect will. He has adjusted, and will continue to adjust our lives as we walk with Him.
But no more looking in the rear view mirror to see where you missed it. Today even if you are on Plan Z, He has adjusted and continues to work with you, show you things, grow you. Christ is still in you in spite of all your mistakes, still the hope of glory. Walk in that truth and put one foot in front of the other with confidence and assurance; He isn't done with you yet!
Related subject next week, until then, blessings,