Why are some things complicated and others easy to understand and easier to do?
Why do you suppose God commanded Moses to appoint and anoint priests for the tent of meeting?
And why did Moses have to follow each detail exactly the way God said?
God is teaching His People how to BE His People who love him back with how to love each other. He now is teaching them how to worship Him with sins covered and absolved.
Egypt has many ways to worship many gods. We’ve said it for the last few days and we will say it again: God took His People out of Egypt, now God is taking Egypt out of His people in all kinds of ways. God does that with us, too. He takes away our sins then works on our hearts to keep us from returning the sins that held us in bondage. God says He will abide in us as we abide in Him. What a relationship now and forever! What hope and assurance to be one of His children with the promise of life eternal with Him! Hold that thought as we read the great Exodus as God teaches His newly freed people!
Exodus 29, The Message
Consecration of Priests
1-4 “This is the ceremony for dedicating them as priests. Take a young bull and two rams, healthy and without defects. Using fine wheat flour but no yeast make bread and cakes mixed with oil and wafers spread with oil. Place them in a basket and carry them along with the bull and the two rams. Bring Aaron and his sons to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and wash them with water.
5-9 “Then take the vestments and dress Aaron in the tunic, the robe of the Ephod, the Ephod, and the Breastpiece, belting the Ephod on him with the embroidered waistband. Set the turban on his head and place the sacred crown on the turban. Then take the anointing oil and pour it on his head, anointing him. Then bring his sons, put tunics on them and gird them with sashes, both Aaron and his sons, and set hats on them. Their priesthood is upheld by law and is permanent.
9-14 “This is how you will ordain Aaron and his sons: Bring the bull to the Tent of Meeting. Aaron and his sons will place their hands on the head of the bull. Then you will slaughter the bull in the presence of God at the entrance to the Tent of Meeting. Take some of the bull’s blood and smear it on the horns of the Altar with your finger; pour the rest of the blood on the base of the Altar. Next take all the fat that covers the innards, fat from around the liver and the two kidneys, and burn it on the Altar. But the flesh of the bull, including its hide and dung, you will burn up outside the camp. It is an Absolution-Offering.
15-18 “Then take one of the rams. Have Aaron and his sons place their hands on the head of the ram. Slaughter the ram and take its blood and throw it against the Altar, all around. Cut the ram into pieces; wash its innards and legs, then gather the pieces and its head and burn the whole ram on the Altar. It is a Whole-Burnt-Offering to God, a pleasant fragrance, an offering by fire to God.
19-21 “Then take the second ram. Have Aaron and his sons place their hands on the ram’s head. Slaughter the ram. Take some of its blood and rub it on Aaron’s right earlobe and on the right earlobes of his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands and on the big toes of their right feet. Sprinkle the rest of the blood against all sides of the Altar. Then take some of the blood that is on the Altar, mix it with some of the anointing oil, and splash it on Aaron and his clothes and on his sons and their clothes so that Aaron and his clothes and his sons and his sons’ clothes will be made holy.
22-23 “Take the fat from the ram, the fat tail, the fat that covers the innards, the long lobe of the liver, the two kidneys and the fat on them, and the right thigh: this is the ordination ram. Also take one loaf of bread, an oil cake, and a wafer from the breadbasket that is in the presence of God.
24-25 “Place all of these in the open hands of Aaron and his sons who will wave them before God, a Wave-Offering. Then take them from their hands and burn them on the Altar with the Whole-Burnt-Offering—a pleasing fragrance before God, a gift to God.
26 “Now take the breast from Aaron’s ordination ram and wave it before God, a Wave-Offering. That will be your portion.
27-28 “Bless the Wave-Offering breast and the thigh that was held up. These are the parts of the ordination ram that are for Aaron and his sons. Aaron and his sons are always to get this offering from the Israelites; the Israelites are to make this offering regularly from their Peace-Offerings.
29-30 “Aaron’s sacred garments are to be handed down to his descendants so they can be anointed and ordained in them. The son who succeeds him as priest is to wear them for seven days and enter the Tent of Meeting to minister in the Holy Place.
31-34 “Take the ordination ram and boil the meat in the Holy Place. At the entrance to the Tent of Meeting, Aaron and his sons will eat the boiled ram and the bread that is in the basket. Atoned by these offerings, ordained and hallowed by them, they are the only ones who are to eat them. No outsiders are to eat them; they’re holy. Anything from the ordination ram or from the bread that is left over until morning you are to burn up. Don’t eat it; it’s holy.
35-37 “Do everything for the ordination of Aaron and his sons exactly as I’ve commanded you throughout the seven days. Offer a bull as an Absolution-Offering for atonement each day. Offer it on the Altar when you make atonement for it: Anoint and hallow it. Make atonement for the Altar and hallow it for seven days; the Altar will become soaked in holiness—anyone who so much as touches the Altar will become holy.
38-41 “This is what you are to offer on the Altar: two year-old lambs each and every day, one lamb in the morning and the second lamb at evening. With the sacrifice of the first lamb offer two quarts of fine flour with a quart of virgin olive oil, plus a quart of wine for a Drink-Offering. The sacrifice of the second lamb, the one at evening, is also to be accompanied by the same Grain-Offering and Drink-Offering of the morning sacrifice to give a pleasing fragrance, a gift to God.
42-46 “This is to be your regular, daily Whole-Burnt-Offering before God, generation after generation, sacrificed at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. That’s where I’ll meet you; that’s where I’ll speak with you; that’s where I’ll meet the Israelites, at the place made holy by my Glory. I’ll make the Tent of Meeting and the Altar holy. I’ll make Aaron and his sons holy in order to serve me as priests. I’ll move in and live with the Israelites. I’ll be their God. They’ll realize that I am their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live with them. I am God, your God.”
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
This was the complicated system for the atonement (punishment/compensation) for sins. God, in His Holiness and Perfection, cannot occupy the same space as sin, darkness and unholiness. So there had to be a system for man to take care of his sins before coming before God. To be their God, there had to be a way to redeem the sin situation of His People so He could come into the camp. Aaron and his descendants were chose to be those representatives that would remedy the sin problem through animal sacrifice whose blood would take man’s place for punishment of sins instead of his own blood.
God gave Moses this way to cover the sins of His People so God could come and reside with them. Over the centuries of complying to this system, it was thwarted with carelessness, pride and greed. Yes, over time, the Old way became flawed in the sacrificial system of animals along with power-seeking corruption among the priests in the selling and buying of the animals to be sacrificed.
God knew it would happen. God had a New Plan of sacrifice designed from the beginning to bring His People unto Himself. That Plan of Jesus, the ultimate, perfect, without sin sacrifice. Jesus, born of a Virgin, was both son of Man and Son of God. Jesus, though God, could live among sinful people and teach them the way to God because He was also enough son of man to live in the “neighborhood” of man—and his sins.
So, at just the right time, as God told his prophets, Jesus, Son of God, would come to earth to be the sacrifice to not only “cover” over our sins but to get rid of them, once and for all, saving all men and women who believed in Him! Why? Because of God’s great love, unfailing faithfulness, unending grace and relentless mercy for His created. Pause and thank God right now!
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
The New Way is to come with a sincere heart seeking to be with God forever. Repent in Jesus Name of all our sins no wanting to return. God hears. Jesus saves. We are redeemed! Simple.
So, why wait? Jesus is at the door ready with God’s blessings of growing in His character with the assured hope of eternal life as well as help for every day life. Our part? Say yes to Him. Then walk with God by giving our lives back to Him. Can it be that easy? Saying yes is as easy or as hard as you want it to be. But make a decision. Doing nothing is a decision made—and that’s a hard way to live, too.
Friends, life isn’t easy. We need God to help us in all areas. He loves to help us, is always for us ready to guide us with powerful strength to help us get through all the troubles this imperfect world has to offer. But we must say a heartfelt yes to Him.
Paul explains the daily walk with God, Jesus, and His Holy Spirit like this;
“Place Your Life Before God”
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12:1-2, The Message
Do this all in Jesus Name, For His Glory! Yes and Amen! May all we do be done in Jesus Name with His love in our hearts.