It is vital that we spend time in God’s Word.
But it’s not always easy.
We read a chapter and we don’t know what to get out of it or even how to start to understand it.
I thought I could try to help you get a little something out of what you are reading by providing you with some questions to ask as you look at the text. Good questions are a good start to understanding. Sometimes there will be more questions, sometimes less.
You can do this!
So, get a notebook, a pen, your Bible, and if you would like some help, take some time to answer the questions, and you may be surprised by all God teaches you.
- This is definitely a more difficult section of the Bible for many of us, because it feels fairly far removed. We don’t have priests like these anymore. A lot of it is about the clothes they wear, and for some of us, it’s even pretty hard to picture what it all must have looked like. But it’s in the Bible. This is God’s Word. And so, it’s here to teach us. We come to it in faith, trying to learn what we need to learn to live for God and glorify Him. So, let’s take it step by step.
- God has given Moses the design for the tabernacle where He is going to dwell with Israel. But, because they are a sinful people living with a holy God, they need sacrifices and they need a whole process to make sure they don’t die. So, someone has to help them with that process right? God here in this chapter is telling Moses to do what in verse 1?
- These men are being set apart to serve as priests. Priest is a pretty big category in the Bible. What is a priest? What does a priest do? Why is a priest important? God doesn’t tell us everything here, but it’s almost like we are watching a movie, and as we look at this scene happening, He’s giving us some basic ideas that will help us understand what a priest is and why a priest was important.
- So, first of all who chooses the priests?
- Who do these priests serve in verse 1 and 4?
- What does God want Moses to make for Aaron? What’s the purpose of making this for him?
- A priest then is clothed in beautiful garments and set apart and glorified for a specific purpose. But how are these garments made in verse 3? In a sense then God is the one making these garments for him to wear.
- He describes in general the garments they are to make and the materials in verse 4 and 5, and then talks about how to make it more specifically in the verses that follow.
- They are to make a beautiful ephod. He talks about how to do that, and comes in verse 9 to certain stones. What are they to engrave on stones, and where are they to put those two stones, and why?
- We’ve seen a priest was someone set apart by God to serve Him, clothed with God designed beautiful garments, and now, what do these stones add to the picture?
- Now we come to a breastplate of judgment in verse 15. A breastplate is underneath the ephod. And, there are alot more stones and jewels, and then verse 21, what do we find again? Now keep reading to verse 29, what is found here? The names of the sons of Israel are right there at the high priest’s heart, therefore. What’s the purpose of all this in verse 29?
- Obviously God doesn’t forget, but we are learning about the work of a priest and high priest. What’s he doing? He’s representing the people to God. What else goes on the breastplate near Aaron’s heart in verse 30?
- Urim and Thummim are a bit obscure. What are they? They have something to do with discovering God’s will. So the high priest is representing the people and is concerned about discerning and discovering God’s will for the people. They then represent God to the people.
- Next is a robe, and there’s a bell on this robe. What’s the purpose of this bell in verse 35? And what does that tell you about God?
- If you need some help as to the purpose of the bells, one author explains, “The question is, “Why?” Many answers have been given. The generic one that is true no matter what additional reasons may be given is that no one can enter Yahweh’s presence unannounced and inappropriately. He is the King of the world, the God of Israel, and has carefully defined how persons may approach him. The sound probably also alerted the other priests, as well as the people within hearing, of the solemn process that was going on. By giving care to his approach and by alerting others to the solemnity of the occasion, the high priest was less likely to approach Yahweh in a way that could result in his death.” (Carpenter, E. (2012). Exodus. (H. W. House & W. D. Barrick, Eds.) (Vol. 2, p. 229). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.)
- What more do we learn about the high priest’s purpose in verse 38 and 43?
- This is a picture or a model that helps us now by giving us categories to understand Jesus and even what God’s doing in us in making us priests. What are some things you can take away from this for your own understanding and appreciation of the Bible and the gospel?