There is no greater joy than hearing God speak to us, seeing His vision for a work, then working together we do the work just like God commanded us to do! Being in God’s Will and doing what He wants is a beautiful place of joy unspeakable, a time in our lives that is full to overflow with of the glory of God in us. When the work is completed, what is next? Only God knows but He will prepare us for what He knows will be next to grow and mature us on this journey with Him.
I can imagine the elated feelings of joy by all the craftsmen and seamstresses as they present the completed work to Moses to give to God for His Tent of Meeting! Imagine the parade of servants carrying the work carefully done beautifully and exquisitely, “just as God commanded” them to do, and now lovingly laying it at Moses feet. Moses blessed them. God blessed them by giving them the know-how with motivation to do His perfect and pleasing will so that they could grow in their being, their integrity, their love, and faith in Him!
Exodus 39, The Message
Vestments. Using the blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics, they made the woven vestments for ministering in the Sanctuary. Also they made the sacred vestments for Aaron, as God had commanded Moses.
2-5 Ephod. They made the Ephod using gold and blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics and finely twisted linen. They hammered out gold leaf and sliced it into threads that were then worked into designs in the blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and fine linen. They made shoulder pieces fastened at the two ends. The decorated band was made of the same material—gold, blue, purple, and scarlet material, and of fine twisted linen—and of one piece with it, just as God had commanded Moses.
6-7 They mounted the onyx stones in a setting of filigreed gold and engraved the names of the sons of Israel on them, then fastened them on the shoulder pieces of the Ephod as memorial stones for the Israelites, just as God had commanded Moses.
8-10 Breastpiece. They made a Breastpiece designed like the Ephod from gold, blue, purple, and scarlet material, and fine twisted linen. Doubled, the Breastpiece was nine inches square. They mounted four rows of precious gemstones on it.
First row: carnelian, topaz, emerald.
11 Second row: ruby, sapphire, crystal.
12 Third row: jacinth, agate, amethyst.
13-14 Fourth row: beryl, onyx, jasper.
The stones were mounted in a gold filigree. The twelve stones corresponded to the names of the sons of Israel, twelve names engraved as on a seal, one for each of the twelve tribes.
15-21 They made braided chains of pure gold for the Breastpiece, like cords. They made two settings of gold filigree and two rings of gold, put the two rings at the two ends of the Breastpiece, and fastened the two ends of the cords to the two rings at the end of the Breastpiece. Then they fastened the cords to the settings of filigree, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the Ephod in front. Then they made two rings of gold and fastened them to the two ends of the Breastpiece on its inside edge facing the Ephod. They made two more rings of gold and fastened them in the front of the Ephod to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces, near the seam above the decorated band of the Ephod. The Breastpiece was fastened by running a cord of blue through its rings to the rings of the Ephod so that it rested secure on the decorated band of the Ephod and wouldn’t come loose, just as God had commanded Moses.
22-26 Robe. They made the robe for the Ephod entirely of blue. The opening of the robe at the center was like a collar, the edge hemmed so that it wouldn’t tear. On the hem of the robe they made pomegranates of blue, purple, and scarlet material and fine twisted linen. They also made bells of pure gold and alternated the bells and pomegranates—a bell and a pomegranate, a bell and a pomegranate—all around the hem of the robe that was worn for ministering, just as God had commanded Moses.
27-29 They also made the tunics of fine linen, the work of a weaver, for Aaron and his sons, the turban of fine linen, the linen hats, the linen underwear made of fine twisted linen, and sashes of fine twisted linen, blue, purple, and scarlet material and embroidered, just as God had commanded Moses.
30-31 They made the plate, the sacred crown, of pure gold and engraved on it as on a seal: “Holy to God.” They attached a blue cord to it and fastened it to the turban, just as God had commanded Moses.
32 That completed the work of The Dwelling, the Tent of Meeting. The People of Israel did what God had commanded Moses. They did it all.
33-41 They presented The Dwelling to Moses, the Tent and all its furnishings:
tenting of tanned ram skins
tenting of dolphin skins
veil of the screen
Chest of The Testimony
with its poles
with its utensils
and the Bread of the Presence
Lampstand of pure gold
and its lamps all fitted out
and all its utensils
and the oil for the light
screen for the entrance to the Tent
with its bronze grate
its poles and all its utensils
and its base
hangings for the Courtyard
its cords and its pegs
its posts and bases
screen for the gate of the Courtyard
utensils for ministry in The Dwelling, the Tent of Meeting
woven vestments for ministering in the Sanctuary
sacred vestments for Aaron the priest,
and his sons when serving as priests
42-43 The Israelites completed all the work, just as God had commanded. Moses saw that they had done all the work and done it exactly as God had commanded. Moses blessed them.
WHAT DO WE LEARN—HOW DO WE RESPOND?
Think about it. Did God really need all of these things of beauty to be worshiped? I don’t think so, but His people needed to learn how to work together to fulfill His will and true purpose—to BE His people—His Chosen who love Him back and will do what He says for what He says is best for each one of their lives.
Obedience to God keeps us looking up to God with focus on God. When our eyes look away, our minds wander into areas of thinking and being that are less than God’s best.
It is the same for us! God gives us a work to do that will grow and challenge us to love more like He loves us. He gives all so that we will learn to give all to Him. Joy and peace follow our “yes” to God in obedience—just as God commands us to be. God is not looking for perfection but in obedience. God takes care of all the rest when yielded completely to Him. Yes, we are not perfect but we are perfectly forgiven in Jesus Name.
One last thought…” I have you in my heart”
All that God does and commands The Chosen has meaning and significance for our ministry with God. The significant thing about this ephod was not the fabric or the colors. It was that the names of six tribes of Israel were engraved on each onyx stone on the shoulder-pieces, according to their birth order. Whenever the high priest wore his special robes, he carried the people on his shoulders before the Lord.
If the church, (God’s People), is to be faithful as a holy priesthood, believers must serve Christ by serving one another and serving a lost world. Jesus said, “I am among you as the One who serves” (Luke 22:27), and it’s His example that we should follow (John 13:12–17).
In the high-powered spiritual atmosphere of the tabernacle, it would be easy for the priest to ignore the common people outside, many of whom had burdens and problems and needed God’s help. “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:4).
The high priest not only carried the people on his shoulders, but he also carried them over his heart. If we don’t have sincere love in our hearts, we won’t be concerned about the needs of others, and we won’t want to help them. “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18). As servants of God, we should be able to say honestly to the people we serve, “I have you in my heart” (Phil. 1:7).
You are teaching us your love for people by challenging us to work together with others to fulfill your will and purpose to help others know and follow you, too. Help us to love each other by sincerely having each other in our hearts, praying for each other, encouraging each other so that lost people will find you through us. I have you on my heart. I have your people in my heart. Thank you, Lord for this message from Your Word and Holy Spirit that teaches us what you really want—for us to love you back and to love others like you love us. Unconditionally.
In Jesus Name, Amen