Summary of passages: Exodus 28: God is still directing Moses. God decrees Aaron and his line will serve as priests and gives specifications for the garments to be worn. God decrees how the Ephod should be made including having 12 stones, each with the name of a tribe of Israel, engraved and fastened to the ephod as a memorial to the Lord. God gives directions for making the breastplate which also is to bear stones with the names of the 12 tribes on them as a memorial to the Lord. He is to wear Urim and Thummim over his heart as the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.
Exodus 29: God tells Moses how to consecrate His chosen priests through blood sacrifices, bread, and oil in an elaborate ceremony performed only once for each priest that lasted 7 days Once done, God would be able to dwell among the Israelites and be their God.
b) Personal Question. My answer: It’s hard to relate this when the passage is specifically relating to priests and I have not been chosen by God to be a priest. Hence, I’m assuming BSF is relating this to the work God has chosen each of us to do for Him, but I feel this question out-of-place when we are discussing priests in the passage. My work is writing in whatever form that may take and raising my kids to be His kids and being a good wife to my husband and taking care of the animals He has called me to care for as well as home, etc.
8 ) Titus 3:5; Hebrews 9:14: Titus says God saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit. Hebrews says the blood of Christ cleanses us.
Galatians 3:27: If you accept Jesus, you are clothed in Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Titus 3:6: Corinthians tells us that God anointed us and set his seal of ownership on us and his Spirit in our hearts. Titus says God poured out the Holy Spirit (see previous verse for context) on us through Jesus.
Romans 3:25: Through faith in Jesus and in his blood, Jesus is our sacrifice of atonement.
1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:5-6: Peter says believers are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation who belong to God. Revelation says Jesus has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom and priests to serve God.
Basically, only Aaron and his descendants could be priests and they had to go through elaborate ceremonies involving the sacrificing of animals in order to be cleansed enough to be near God and to meet with Him. With Jesus’ blood we don’t have to go through all of the cleansing rituals for we are cleansed through Jesus forever. We are all priests who can approach God and be near Him.
Conclusions: The last 2 days have been killers in terms of reading and I feel these passages are being rushed for the sake of just getting through the material. The fact they are boring to read doesn’t help much. Here is where one may be tempted to skip out on these lessons and these weeks due to the length of the assignments (count me in, here) and the fact we are coming up to Thanksgiving is a good excuse. And questions like number 8 here do not help the situation (anyone else utter an “Ughhhh! upon seeing this question?). To do Exodus 25-31 properly and these questions, you need hours. Many will skip the work here for time is something many of us have little of. Not sure that is wise.
One suggestion: skim the readings. It’s a lot of regulations laid down and if you’re tempted to skip entirely, just skim. You’ll get the gist pretty quickly. These are passages worth re-visiting however when you do get time (like next summer). Just suggestions in order to finish these mammoth lessons.
Another suggestion which I do frequently: do half the lesson only and then return. For example on this day, I only read Exodus 28 and did question 7. One, I just didn’t have the time to do the rest. Two, I was about to bang my head on the table repeatedly because I had just finished Day Three, which took me 2 hours. Split these lessons up when you get frustrated. Return fresh either later in the day or the next day. Use the seventh day of the week to catch up.
Preview: We do get a breather in Lessons 11 & 12 which is much less reading before reading the last 5 chapters in Exodus to finish it up before our Winter Break. Use these easier weeks to catch up on the past two weeks of massive material and if you wish, to go ahead and work on the last five chapters of Exodus.
No one said BSF was easy and that’s why I’m here: it pushes you to do more and learn more which I love. But we all get fatigued. Pray for strength to power through this during the holidays for Winter Break will be here before you know it and we can all breathe again and be refreshed for Leviticus in January!
End Notes: Exodus 28: Priests were birthrights. The priestly garments are beautiful as God and heaven are beautiful. The ones who made the garments were promised the presence of the Holy Spirit. Note how the priests are to minister to God first just like today.
The ephod was like an apron or a suit of armor worn over the head. See picture HERE The placing of the 12 tribes on the shoulders reminded the priest that his first work was God but his second was the people and to love the people. The names are inscribed on precious gemstones, showing how precious we are to God.
Scholars do not know what Urim and Thummim are but they guess them to be stones that may have been used for discernment of God’s word. The words mean “light and perfections” and are mentioned in several places in the Bible.
The bells on the robe were for the sake of the people who could not see the priest inside the Most Holy place. The people would know the offering was accepted if the bells rang for the priest had not been struck dead.
The High Priest was adorned. The other priests wore simple tunics.
Nakedness was a tribute of other priests worshipping other pagan gods. Hence, this command may be to thwart this.
Note the contrast between this High Priest and Our High Priest, Jesus, who came simply and unadorned.
Short five-minute video showing all pieces of the clothing while reading the Exodus 28: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DyAa6nh-hN0
Short four-minute video clip of T.D. Jakes explaining Urim and Thummin and how it applies to us today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGuGXKdZSIo
Exodus 29: Described here, the consecration actually takes place in Leviticus 8, which set aside the priests for God and required sacrificial blood and fellowship bread. This was a public ceremony that took place one time only. After the cleansing, they were clothed, freely, like we are clothed in Christ at no cost to us. Then the priests were anointed like we are with the Holy Spirit.
The sin offering was the bull which symbolically took the sin from Aaron and his sons as they laid their hands upon it. The burnt offering was the ram which also represented the sins of the people.
The consecration offering involved the applying of blood to their ears (which heard God’s laws), their hands (which did His will), and their feet (which follow Him). This all took place on the right side because the right side is considered our best side since most of us are right-handed. The oil represented the Holy Spirit.
The wave offering showed devotion to God. Then the priests could eat once they were cleansed and atoned for. This showed the continual, inner relationship we need to have with God.
All new priests performed this ceremony which took 7 days. Then sacrifices were made twice daily, at the beginning and end of each day. These were performed up until New Testament times so the presence of God would be near them.
God consecrates so that He can dwell among us. It is a long, arduous process, but so ever worthwhile.