The Berean Expositor
Volume 14 - Page 140 of 167
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you unto Myself.  Now therefore if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My
covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is
Mine. And ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation."
The special features of this basic passage are:--
Israel separated from all the nations.
Israel a peculiar treasure.
Israel a "royal priesthood".
The conditions are obedience and keeping the covenant.
The words "for all the earth is Mine" suggest that this special favour is
shown to Israel with a view to the blessing of the nations.
Israel utterly failed to fulfil the conditions, and instead of being a blessing in the earth,
they became a curse.
The prophet Malachi speaks of a remnant of faithful ones who feared the Lord in days
of apostasy, and of such the Lord said:--
"They shall be Mine . . . . . in that day when I make up My peculiar treasure . . . . .
then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that
serveth God and him that serveth Him not" (Mal. 3: 17, 18).
If we look back to chapter 2: of this prophet we shall find that the great controversy
is concerning the failure of the priests. The Lord says that, as a result of their failure,
their very blessings shall be cursed. Special emphasis is placed upon the fact that they
had "corrupted the covenant" (2: 8), and that they had not preserved their peculiar
separateness unto the Lord (2: 11, 12).
The apostle Peter forges another link between Israel and the millennium. To the
dispersed of Israel that were looking for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time,
who had been redeemed from the vain conversation received by tradition from their
fathers, the apostle addresses the words:--
"Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices . . . . . Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a
peculiar people" (I Pet. 2: 5, 9).
The whole atmosphere of this epistle is that of suffering in view of glory. This is seen
to be the same in Rev. 20: First, however, let us see Rev. 1: 5, 6:--
"Unto Him that loved us, and loosed us from our sins by His blood, and hath made us
a kingdom of priests unto God and His Father."
Here we find that the royal priesthood is composed not of those who obeyed and kept
the covenant, but of those who have been redeemed. In harmony with this is the song of
the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders:--
"Thou wast slain, and didst purchase a people for God by Thy blood out of every tribe
and tongue and people and nation, and didst make them to our God a kingdom and
priests, and they reign over the earth" (Rev. 5: 9, 10).