Please forgive my lateness today. Here with go with our focus on THE WORD. I pray before we being that God will speak something special to you today about this Word. There are a LOT of details here … but ask the Lord to SHOW YOU what HE wants you to see from this… ask HIM to reveal HIMSELF to you in only a way that He can today in this reading.
Click here for the reading don’t forget that you can always LISTEN to this (which often helps me greatly).
WHY did God set up the priesthood? WHY is all this detail given to how the garments are made, the colors used, the placement of jewels, the turban, the ephod, the breastplate…. Etc???
God ORIGINALLY intended that his CHOSEN people would ALL be a KINGDOM OF PRIESTS. However, the people’s sin prevented this from happening. A sinful person was not allowed to approach a perfect God. Then God appointed priests from the tribe of LEVI and set up the system of sacrifices to help the people approach HIM. God promised to forgive the people’s sin if they would offer certain sacrifices administered by the priests on their behalf.
Today we learn of the many provisions of how God made this possible back in Exodus and then TODAY we are most blessed that we can come DIRECTLY before our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and call out to our God as ABBA FATHER because Jesus Christ became the final… ultimate sacrifice so we could enjoy the blessed relationship. However, in reading the old testament doesn’t it make it clearer and clearer the GREATNESS of what Jesus Christ did for us?
The rituals of the sacrifices and clothing gave a centralized, standardized from of worship preventing people from coming up with their own ways” of worship. This also SEPARATED the Hebrews from all the other people around them. Their differences showed that they were worshiping the ONE TRUE GOD and NO other gods.
Chapter 28 – A picture speaks a 1000 words. Here is a picture from my bible study last year which shows the total attire of for the tabernacle priests. I think it makes a little more sense when we can see it.
A closer picture of the Ephod and Breastplate
God tells Moses to have Aaron, his brother, brought to him along with his sons so they can serve HIM as priests. Aaron (and Moses) came from the tribe of Levi and the descendants of Levi are called LEVItes. The priesthood for generations will come from the LEVItes. And can you guess what the book of LEVIticus might be speaking of at this point?? YEP.. you got it…. The entire book of LEVIticus is dedicated to to the proper way to worship God. And in today’s read we are witnessing the beginning of the proper worship and direction for this group of people. 🙂
God was so detailed was giving his instructions and he tells them why each piece was designed the way it was. The use of gold, onyx, fine linen, blue, purple, scarlet yarn, and other precious gemstones reveals to me just how precious OUR worship of God is to be … how we today are to enter with reverence and honor to Him .. not with a casual disrespect for ALL HE is.
I love verse 3 that states: “Tell all the skilled men to whom I have given WISDOM in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as a priest.” God was preparing people before he shared this with Moses. He was preparing certain people with certain gifts to accomplish the ultimate goal of worshiping HIM. We each have skills, talents, gifts, that the Lord gives us .. so we may use them according to HIS purposes and to HIS glory. AWWWWWEEEEESOMMMMEEEE. (can you hear me singing that little phrase??) 🙂
Is there any significance in the colors used? It would be a great mistake to assign mystical/spiritual meaning to “just” colors used in the Bible and/or begin to “worship” the colors themselves. However, there is some significance in the colors used. I have inserted a quote about the use of colors from: http://www.gotquestions.org/colors-Bible.html#ixzz2MDbNMNg9
“Purple blue, or hyacinth, points to heaven, and was the symbol of revelation. Among the Hebrews it was the Jehovah color, the symbol of the revealed God (Exodus 24:10; Ezekiel1:26). Blue and purple, along with scarlet and gold, were colors of the priestly garments and fixtures in the tabernacle as describe in Exodus, chapters 35 through 39. Purple, the dress of kings, was associated with royalty and majesty (Judges 8:26;Esther 8:15;Daniel 5:7,16,29).”
Verse 29 states “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Pace, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord.”
Verse 30 discusses the Urim and Thummim. They were used by the priest to make decisions. According to the Life Application Bible, these names mean “Curses” and “Perfections” and refer to the nature of God whose will they revealed. They were kept in a pouch and taken out or shaken to get either a yes or no decision. I have provided a picture of what these would have looked like. HOWEVER, it does not MEAN that we as Christians are to go out and look for these stones to provide us with answers. This Word was written specifically for the OT priests. We are to ASK Jesus and keep on asking, SEEK Jesus and keep on seeking, and KNOCK on HIS door and keep on knocking for our answers (Matt 7:7-8, Luke 11:9-10).
Here is a picture of the Urim and Thummim
Some basic facts:
- Who: Aaron, Moses’ Brother, Becomes the High Priest (sons will follow)
- What: High Priest is the Only Priest that will enter the Most Holy Place once a year
- Where: Inside the Tabernacle, a portable sanctuary where the Lord will dwell
- When: Now, and then when the Temple replaces the Tabernacle
- Why: An orderly sacrificial system for atonement is set in place to foreshadow the Christ to come
The priests were to wear these garments into the tabernacle. The priests were our representatives. Jesus is now OUR High Priest. Each stone has the name of one of the tribes of Israel on it,12 in all. This is a memorial before the Lord, to remember the burden they carried for them.
Chapter 29 Consecration of the Priests. — God appointed a priesthood. If this interests you, click here to see the geneology. LOOK for the Green triangles. You will see they start with Aaron, the first priest, and follow ONLY the Levites (at least through the Old Testament, by the time Jesus will come the corruption is incredible and the Romans will appoint a high priest..rut row). So Chapter 29 holds the instructions that will take place for the beginning process of the Priesthood. We start with Aaron and his sons Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar (28:1)
The Lord was setting His people apart from all others, as we are today in fact. How we approach the Lord here is symbolic in today’s world BUT He always intended the principles to remain. Cleansing, sacrifice, offerings, are all part of our relationship with the Lord.
And take some of the blood on the altar and some of the anointing oil and sprinkle it on Aaron and his garments and on his sons and their garments. Then he and his sons and their garments will be consecrated. (Exodus 29:21)
In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. (Heb 9:22)
It takes the blood of the sacrifice to consecrate us. No where does it say “the deeds” “The acts” “the kindness” ” I am a good person” is what made the priests, priest!!. Our salvation is ONLY given to us by God through the Blood that consecrates us. WE EACH, INDIVIDUALLY must come before the LORD, confess our sin, believe that HE, (and ONLY HE) is Lord, died for us, and rose from the dead, and tell HIM we need and want HIM in our hearts. NO one else can do this on our behalf …. NOTHING else will bring us into this relationship with HIM. NOTHING. BUT ONCE WE CHOOSE HIM …… NOTHING CAN SEPARATE US FROM HIS LOVE. satan wants us to believe that our sin is so bad it can not be forgive….. JESUS tells us differently. JESUS wants to have a personal relationship with us. Have you CHOSEN HIM for your life? Look in 29:14…this little bitty sentence….5 words….
“It is a Sin offering”!!!!
LOTS of material … we will unpack more of it as we go along!
We end this reading with instruction that the people are to come and worship, and make an offering for their sin, and sacrifice, be set apart, cleanse…. and then the Lord uses a profound word. THEN
Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. They will know that I am the LORD their God, who brought them out of Egypt so that I might DWELL among them. I am the LORD their God.
Today we end day 39 of our reading together, and we end with this scripture: “I MIGHT DWELL AMONG THEM AND AM THE LORD THEIR GOD” ?? Tomorrow will be day FORTY in our reading together. 40 is such a significant number in the Bible, God uses 40 as such a “preparation of the heart”…It rained for 40 days on Noah, Moses goes up the Mountain for 40 days (twice!), David prepared for Goliath for 40 days, Jesus was in the wilderness for 40 days, people will change after 40 days in the Promised land. When we go to bed tonight we will wake up on day 40…I know God has changed my heart in this 40 days too, and I pray you can say the same thing. 🙂
Final thought for today is verse 28:36
“Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: HOLY TO THE LORD. Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban.”
Jesus is our High Priest…Holy to the Lord. In Revelation it says on Jesus..”Lord of Lord and King of Kings”
WE are to be a priesthood. SO when He sees us HE sees a plate on our forehead that says “Holy to the Lord.”
ALL Praise be to our LORD AND KING!!
Sharing HIS love,