9 But you are a chosen people,(A) a royal priesthood,(B) a holy nation,(C) God’s special possession,(D) that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.(E)10 Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God;(F) once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Living Godly Lives in a Pagan Society
11 Dear friends,(G) I urge you, as foreigners and exiles,(H) to abstain from sinful desires,(I) which wage war against your soul.(J)12 Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds(K) and glorify God(L) on the day he visits us.
In Exodus 19:4-6 God taught Moses his purpose in redeeming Israel from slavery in Egypt. He wanted to make the Israelites into a holy nation and a kingdom of priests. A priest stands between God and men. He brings men to God and God to men. God wanted to use his people to bring his lost creation back to himself. As a nation, Israel failed--but God did not fail. He sent Jesus, and he raised up a new people of God, a people belonging to Jesus. We who belong to Jesus have inherited all the promises God made to the former Israel--and their mission as well.
2. A holy nation (11-12)
God's people must be holy. We live in the world, but our citizenship is in heaven, so we are aliens and strangers in the world. We do not need to yield to the pressures of our own sinful desires nor to the worldliness around us.
Prayer: Lord, help me live as a royal priest and a holy nation and proclaim your wonderful works.