Consecrated and Ordained to Serve (Exodus 29-30)

Scripture reading – Exodus 29-30

We are continuing our study in the Book of Exodus. Today’s Scripture reading, Exodus 29-30, finds Moses and Joshua on Mount Sinai, where they would continue “forty days and forty nights” (24:18). The LORD instructed Moses, so that he might teach the people, and give to them “tables of stone, and a law, and commandments” (24:12).

The LORD had commanded Moses to receive offerings from the people (25:1-3) that were to be used in constructing, and furnishing the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle would serve as the LORD’s sanctuary (25:8); a dwelling that was a visible testimony of God’s presence in their midst.

The LORD gave Moses the designs, and dimensions for the Tabernacle (25:9), the Ark of the Covenant and its Mercy Seat (25:10-22), the table, and the candlestick. All were to be overlaid with gold (25:23-40). The interior and exterior of the Tabernacle were described in detail (26:1-30), including a room that was divided by a veil (26:31-33), and served as the “holy place” in which the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat were to be placed (26:33-34).

Central to Israel’s worship was the brass altar (27:1-8) that would be located in a courtyard that formed an enclosure for the Tabernacle (27:9-19). Aaron, the brother of Moses, would be appointed to serve as Israel’s first high priest, and his sons would serve their father as common priests (28:1). God also gave Moses a detailed description of the holy garments the high priest would wear when he ministered before the LORD as Israel’s mediator (28:2-43).

Exodus 29 – The Priesthood: Ordination and Consecration

The Aaronic priesthood having been established in Exodus 28, the LORD instructed Moses in the ritual he was to follow when he ordained his brother Aaron to serve as his high priest (29:1-9). One young bull, and “two rams without blemish” (29:1), were to be sacrificed in an ordination ceremony that consecrated Aaron as the high priest.

Aaron was to wash himself, and put on the garments of the high priest (29:4-9). Moses then directed Aaron and his sons to put their hands on the bull, identifying with the sacrifice of the bull as their sin offering (29:10-14). Placing their hands on one ram that was without blemish, Moses was to slay the ram as a burnt offering to the LORD (29:15-18). A second ram was then sacrificed, and it served as a “blood ordination,” for its blood was put on “the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and his sons (29:19-21), thus dedicating them to the priesthood. The best parts of the second ram were offered to the LORD, and then Aaron and his sons were to consume the ram at the door of the Tabernacle (29:22-34). For each of the seven days, young bulls were to be offered for the sins of the priests, and as a testimony of God’s grace in providing a substitute (29:35-37).

Twice-daily, lambs were to be sacrificed and offered as a meat offering by fire, one in the morning, and one in the evening. These were perpetual offerings to the LORD (29:38-42), and a reminder to the people that, “without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin (Hebrews 9:22). Thus, the LORD promised to “dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. 46And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God” (29:45-46).

Exodus 30 – Altar of Incense, Tabernacle Tax, and Holy Oils and Fragrances

Moses was instructed to have “an altar to burn incense,” made with wood, and overlaid “with pure gold” (30:1-5). The altar of incense was to be located outside the Holy Place, and before the veil, and there the LORD promised to meet with Moses, and Aaron, and the generations that would follow him, were to insure the incense was burning night and day (30:6-8).

Every year a special tribute, a “ransom,” or Tabernacle\Temple tax (30:11-13) was required of every Hebrew that was twenty years old or older (30:14) The rich and the poor paid the same amount, “half a shekel,” reminding us that every soul is of equal value in the sight of God (30:15). This tax or tribute, paid for “the service [expenses] of the Tabernacle” (30:16), that would have included purchasing sacrifices, flour, wine, oil, priestly garments, and other expenses that would occur.

A large brass laver, or fount, was to be made and filled with water where the priest would wash their hands and feet (30:17-21).

A special anointing oil with ingredients and fragrances designed by the LORD, were to be made, and used for anointing the Tabernacles, its furniture, the altar, and the priests (30:22-31). It was a sacred oil, and it was forbidden for use for any other purpose. (30:32-33).

The LORD also required a special blend of incense and perfume, that was to be made, and used before the tabernacle. The fragrance was unique to the Tabernacle, and it was not to be used for any other purpose (30:34-38).

What lesson should we consider from the details that have been preserved for us?

I suggest the knowledge that we should prepare our hearts for worshipping the LORD. Worship is not to be careless and incidental, but purposeful, and done in a manner that reflects, and speaks of the holiness of the LORD.

Copyright – 2021 – Travis D. Smith