The U.S. government is made up of three distinct branches modeled after the biblical order of governance that mandated a separation of powers. In the Old Testament we see the King, the Priest, and the Prophet. Today we call these branches, the Executive, the Legislative, and the Judicial. Three branches sharing equal power, meant to keep each other in check. It should be easy to connect the dots here. One branch enforces the laws (the King or Executive), one branch brings forth the laws (the Priest or Legislative), and one branch rules if the laws are being interpreted and obeyed as per their intent (the Prophet or Judicial). Think Rock —Paper—Scissors! What a beautiful balance of powers. And such a beautiful form of governance was created by none other than the Creator of all things.
What happens when any one of these branches attempts to override the other two? The Executive Branch can overstep its power by use of executive orders. A King without a Priest and a Prophet is a tyrant! In today’s vernacular we might say a President without a legislature or judiciary is a dictator. When the Legislative Branch oversteps its authority, it’s equivalent to “me, me, me,” or “mob rule.” A Priest without a King and a Prophet is an Idol! Today we might say this happens when legislative representatives (lawmakers) have sunk to the lowest common denominator, when all that matters is to appease the majority! And when the Judicial Branch has gone off the rails it begins to “legislate from the bench.” A Prophet without a King and a Priest is an anarchist! Who needs to interpret if laws are being properly applied when we can simply invent our own laws at any moment.
Moses was called to be a Prophet of the Most High, but he finds himself also filling “priestly duties”, even though the Levitical Priesthood has not yet been formally initiated. Moses is about to get a lesson from Jethro, his pagan priest father-in-law. “Son, this is how you run an organization without burning out.” No doubt Moses has been hearing from Yahweh, the King, and making judicial decisions, but he is also trying to take on all the ministry to the people. Suddenly a priesthood, the people ministry, makes a whole lot of sense. Shortly after Moses takes Jethro’s advice, God confirms that this is the direction He is taking His people. “If you obey Me,” He says, “You shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Yahweh is the King, Moses is the Prophet, and now we need a formal ministry of, to, and for the people!