Lent Day 8: The Priest
1 Samuel 2:27-36 (ESV)
Do you want the wrongs of this world to be righted? In this text, we learn in v. 28 that the role of priests was 1) “to go up to my altar”— they should have been going before God on behalf of the people to intercede and plead for them, 2) “to burn incense”— which was a religious duty and ritual that honored God (Leviticus 16:13), and 3) “to wear the ephod”— which would mark the priests as those who counseled the people with wisdom from God. In v. 29, we see that Eli’s sons, who were the priests at the time — the very ones who should have been caring for the people — were in fact “fattening” themselves on the labor of others wrongfully. Not only was this injustice, but the very people who should have been caring for others were in fact harming them. How would God right these wrongs
When we look at our own lives and the lives of those around us, we often ask the same question. How will God right the wrongs of the world? It becomes a traumatic question when we realize that we are guilty of wronging others as well. The very people we know we should love and serve are often the victims of our selfish focusing on our own interests and priorities.
We are told God does see this injustice and that he must stop it (vv. 30-31) as well as administer just consequences to the offending parties (v. 34). We need the wrongs to be stopped, but we also need someone to go before God and plead for us, as we too are offenders. Who will this be? Verse 35 says, “And I will raise up for myself a faithful priest … my anointed forever.” The Hebrew word for “faithful” also means “enduring,” so this priesthood will last forever, but the fact that he is “my anointed forever” means my “king” in this context. Who is both a faithful and enduring priest who is also the king forever? Only one person history could be both — Jesus.
Lord Jesus, enduring great high priest and king, you have opened a way for us to approach you even though we are often guilty in our thoughts, words and deeds. Give us your grace that restores, preserves, leads, guards and supplies our hope. In Christ’s Name, Amen.