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Month: September 2016

Consecrating the Priest and Completing the Tabernacle Furnishings

Consecrating the Priest and Completing the Tabernacle Furnishings

We are almost through the instructions for God’s dwelling place among His people and the clothing for His priests. We have only traveled from Exodus 25 where the Tabernacle of God was first described!  Sometimes while I review where we have been, I almost feel like we have actually helped with the preparation!!  It seems to me, we have taken a long time to get where we are today!  I hope you have enjoyed the journey as much as I have in researching and preparing the information.  I always stand in awe of every detail our God gives so precisely!  He truly is a God of details!!!

Special clothes were made for Aaron’s sons, also priests, and you can read the details in Exodus 28:40-43.  Imagine being chosen to serve God for His chosen people!  It was so important in Israel’s history that Exodus 29 is an entire chapter devoted to the details of consecration of the priests.   “And this is what you shall do to them to hallow them for ministering to Me as priests: Take one young bull and two rams without blemish, and unleavened bread, unleavened cakes mixed with oil…” (Exodus 29:1-2)   The actual consecrations don’t really take place until Leviticus 8.  The sacrifices were significant:  a bull for sin; one ram used for consecration and one for the wave offering and the heave offering.  Consecration could not happen without shedding of sacrificial blood.  Unleavened bread and cakes were for fellowship with God.  All of the ceremony took place outside of the Tabernacle tent.  (Sometimes it is confusing when we read the word Tabernacle. I have found that sometimes the word is used when talking about the tent with the Holy of Holies; and sometimes it is used to refer to the entire compound including the courtyard outside of the tent.)

In Exodus 25, we read about the Lampstand and the Showbread Table.  But, that wasn’t all the furnishings that was in the Holy Place.  The design for the Alter of Incense (Exodus 30:1- 10) was not given until the chapter after the instructions for consecrating the priests.  “Perhaps, because it was the last piece to which the high priest came before he entered the Holy of Holies once a year.  Right after Aaron’s consecration ceremony had been noted, his duties of (1) ensuring proper incense was offered continually upon this alter and (2) annually cleansing the alter with blood from the atonement offering (v.10) received attention .”   (The MacArthur Bible Commentary page 126)  The Alter of Incense was right before the Veil and between the Lampstand and the Showbread Table.  The priest could not go past it on any other day than on the Day of Atonement.  veil3

Every day there were two lambs sacrificed to God at the Alter of Incense; one each morning and one each evening, along with a “drink offering” which was “poured out” to God.  Apostle Paul used the term “drink offering” to express his complete devotion to God. (Phil. 2:17)  This priestly duty was continued into the New Testament and we read of it again in Luke 1, when Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, was offering the morning sacrifice.

In Exodus 30:18-21, we find the instructions for the Laver of Bronze.  “The washing of hands and feet was mandatory before engaging in priestly duties. The seriousness of being ceremonially purified is seen in the warning of death if this washing is neglected. Nothing casual was being done in the sanctuary or out in the courtyard.” (The MacArthur Bible Commentary page 127)  This was located in the courtyard.laver

Exodus 30:22-33, “Nothing was left to chance or to human ingenuity.  The ingredients for making the Anointing Oil were carefully spelled out.  Using anything different was totally unacceptable and brought with it the penalty of death (v.33)”  (The MacArthur Bible Commentary page 127)

When you read all of these precise instructions and warnings, do you feel like our church buildings today should be a place where there is ceremonial holy worship and a special reverence?  I know that each of us is a “Tabernacle” today and that the Holy Spirit resides in each us instead of needing a building!  I guess I still feel a closeness to the first Tabernacle and how very special it was to God.  I stand in awe of His Grace He has given me and feel personally grateful to the point that I do want to show Him respect and holy reverence in the building where we meet to praise and adore Him!  Perhaps that is just an individual decision to be made.  I’m truly interested in how you feel about that!

 

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Other Priestly Garments

Other Priestly Garments

“So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest.  And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.”  Exodus 28:3-4  NKJV

We have talked about the Breastplate and the Ephod  God gave Moses exact instructions on exactly how the Tabernacle and all it’s furnishings were to be made.  He also gave specific descriptions of the Priestly Garments.  The Robe was to be made from fine woven linen dyed blue.  It had an opening in the top to be put on over the head and was formed carefully of one piece, much like the robe of Christ (John 19: 23 “Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece.”)  The neck was reinforced with a woven collar so it would not tear.

Attached to the hem of the Robe were pomegranates made out of blue, purple and scarlet yarn.  In between the pomegranates were gold bells.  The bells were hung between the pomegranates, which were used, it seems, to announce to the people when the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies so they could pray for him, and also to remind him of the priestly clothing the Lord had instructed for him to wear.  No one, but the High Priest could go in there, but coming into the presence of God was really a hazardous job.  When they first started their ministry as priests, two of Aaron’s sons, Nadab and Abihu,  died on the very first day.  God was very specific about His instructions and when they didn’t obey in every detail, they were consumed by a strange fire. (see Lev. 10:1,2; Num. 3:4; 26:61)

When the high priest came in before God, coming into the very presence of God and ministering before Him, everything had to be just right, if it wasn’t the high priest could die. If they heard the bells, they would know he had not been consumed by the Lord’s anger while fulfilling his duties. They would tie a rope on his foot, and if the bells would quit ringing they would drag him out.pom-bells bells

 

The only information I could find about the “skillfully woven tunic” was a garment woven out of fine linen cloth fastened at the neck, and reaching far down the person, with the sleeves terminating at the elbow.(ref. Ex.28:39,40 and Lev.8:7)priest-2

 

 

 

imagesi5qky4kyThe Turban was also called the “mitre” “Something rolled around the head.  The Turban or headdress of the high priest made of fine linen cloth, eight yards long, folded around the head. On the front was a gold plate on which was inscribed Holiness to the Lord.”  Ex. 28:4, 37, 39; 39:28, 30 and Lev. 8:9″  Smith’s Bible Dictionary

I hope you have learned a little about the clothing of the Priest.  I know I have!

 

 

 

 

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Beach Trip with Mountain Grove Seniors

Beach Trip with Mountain Grove Seniors

I’m really looking forward to my first beach trip with the seniors from our church, Mountain Grove.  I’ve heard so much about their yearly trips that I am anticipating a great time!  Please keep us in your prayers as we travel and as we enjoy the wonders of God’s creation!  I will be back in a week, God willing!  Stay in the Word, Fellow Travelers!  I will miss you all!!

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