The Faithful Minister and Regulated Worship
by Joseph Franks
In Leviticus 9, we see the fairly faithful minister. Through the prophet Moses, Aaron has received divine instructions regarding how to lead his people into worship. His goal is to mediate acceptably so that the glory of the Lord might appear to his congregation. (9:4-6) Therefore, because he desires to please the Lord, and because he desires to bless his people, he is diligent to lead worship according to the Lord’s regulations. So …
- He brings what Moses commanded (vs. 5)
- He talks about the things commanded of the Lord (vs. 6)
- He draws near, makes atonement, and offers sacrifices as the Lord commanded (vs. 7)
- He applies blood and burns animal portions as the Lord commanded (vs. 10)
- He presents the burnt offering according to the rule (vs. 16)
It is at this point that Aaron completes his sacrificial work. He blesses his people and descends from the altar. He and Moses then enter the Tent of Meeting to personally commune with their gracious God.
“And when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces.” (Lev. 9:23-24)
Aaron was the fairly faithful minister who led his people in regulated worship that they might experience forgiveness of sins and glorious communion with the Lord. He did his work well, and the Lord responded accordingly.
However, to understand this passage fully, we must understand that Aaron is the fairly faithful minister prefiguring the fully faithful minister. Jesus Christ is the Great High Priest chosen by the Father. He is the one who perfectly worshiped, every single day, according to the regulations prescribed by the Father. And due to his priestly work, his people experience eternal forgiveness of sins and everlasting communion with their Lord. For a short time, Aaron is the fairly faithful minister; for all time Jesus is the Fully Faithful One.
Therefore friends, how ought we to muse upon this passage and doctrine today? Two thoughts come to mind:
First, let us swim in grace. Let us realize our Great High Priest has done all that is required for us to enjoy God’s eternal blessings. There is nothing left for us to do but to bask in the glory of God. So, as we look at ourselves today and find within a willingness to trust and obey, let us see these as marks of the Holy Spirit placed upon our souls. We are his, and we have been covered and redeemed by the Heavenly Father and his Divine Priest who sacrificed the Lamb of God. Rejoice, for it is truly well with our souls.
Second, as a kingdom of priests called to the holy priesthood, let us seek to be fairly faithful ministers. Because we desire to please God, and because we have received God’s instructions for daily worship, and because we desire to bless ourselves and our neighbors, let us be diligent to worship according to God’s regulations. Whether we be ministers who lead in corporate worship in the church, or ministers who worship in the office, or teachers and students who minister in the school, or representatives and leaders who worship in governmental quarters, or parents and children who minister in the home, let us priest and worship responsibly. For us, it is not a matter of earning righteousness and favor with God; this has been accomplished. However, it is required of all who would thank and honor God properly that they practice regulated worship as did their Savior, Teacher, and Priest.