And the LORD said to Moses, Speak to the priests the sons of Aaron, and say to them…
In all circumstances and relations of life the priests must be an example of purity. The higher the office, the more conspicuous the example, and therefore the more solemn the duty of preserving both body and soul from defilement.
I. THE BLAMELESSNESS OF THE MINISTRY A NECESSITY OF THE CHURCH'S LIFE.
1. Spiritual leaders a natural requirement and a Divine appointment. We want teachers both in word and act. The priesthood of the old dispensation was abolished, but in the new there are those who, both by their superior knowledge and piety and by their consecration of life to the sanctuary, become the responsible leaders of the Church.
2. An impure priesthood the greatest calamity to the cause of religion. Like priest, like people. The corruptions of the Middle Ages mainly traceable to the defilement of those who should have been first and foremost in faithfulness to truth and duty. The hindrance to the spread of Christianity now is largely the indifference and blindness and worldliness of those who serve the sanctuary. The life of the public representative of religion should be above reproach in all things.
II. GOD'S HOUSE AND CAUSE SHOULD HAVE THE CHOICEST AND BEST OF HUMAN CAPACITY AND ENERGY DEVOTED TO IT.
1. That the Church itself may be edified and become a praise unto God. Our religion demands and satisfies our highest efforts. The truth of God's Word is inexhaustible food for the mind and delight to the heart. Endless scope for the development of human powers in the service of God. Worship should be spotlessly pure, a glorifying of humanity in the light of Divine favour.
2. The world is won to God, not by hiding the graces of God's people, but by making the light to shine before men. No limit to the demand upon the talents and energies of the Church. We should urge those naturally gifted and superior to take their proper places. Yet natural defects can be wonderfully supplied by special Divine gilts. Much work has been done by the physically weak, and even by those whose characters were faulty. - R.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD said unto Moses, Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them, There shall none be defiled for the dead among his people: