Half-hearted Worship is Unacceptable to the LORD! (Exodus 39-40)

Scripture reading – Exodus 39-40

As we conclude our study of the Book of Exodus, one fact on which we should reflect is the LORD’s detailed descriptions that were part of planning a place for worship and sacrifice to Israel’s God.

Several recent chapters in our study (Exodus 25-40) were almost entirely devoted to the features of the Tabernacle, the Ark of the Covenant and its Mercy Seat, the Lampstand, the Altar of Incense, the Table for the bread, and various implements within and without the Tabernacle. The LORD also provided Moses specific details for the Courtyard, its Brazen Altar, and the fount that would serve the priests as a washing station for their hands and feet.

Exodus 39 – The “Holy Garments” of the High Priest

An earlier chapter (Exodus 28) gave us the design of the “holy garments” that were to be made, and worn by Aaron, the brother of Moses, and the man whom God had chosen as His high priest. Exodus 39 records the design of the priests’ garments becoming a reality when we read, “1And of the blue, and purple, and scarlet, they made cloths of service, to do service in the holy place, and made the holy garments for Aaron; as the Lord commanded Moses” (39:1).

The stunning colors of the high priest’s “holy garments” are given (39:1-2), as well as the breastplate embedded with twelve precious jewels, each engraved with the names of one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel (39:8-14).  A description of the bindings of the breastplate is given, as well as, other articles of clothing that were worn by the high priest (39:15-31).  Fastened to his turban was a plate of gold engraved with the words, “Holiness to the LORD” (39:30-31).

Exodus 40 – “The End,” is Only The Beginning!

The LORD commanded, “2On the first day of the first month shalt thou set up the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation” (40:1). Moses was to oversee the assembly of the Tabernacle, its implements, and to dedicate the high priest, his sons, and the garments they were to wear in the priests’ office.

After insuring all was done “as the LORD had commanded” (39:43), Moses dedicated the work (40:33), and the outward manifestation of God’s approval was “a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle” (40:34)!

I conclude inviting you to consider not only was the place of worship important in every detail, but so was the preparation, and dedication of those who served as the LORD’s ministers. Moses, Aaron, and his sons were commanded to ceremonially wash their hands and feet “when they came near unto the altar,” and served as the intercessors for God’s people (40:30-32).

Thirteen times we read the phrase, “as the LORD commanded Moses” in Exodus 39 and Exodus 40.

That phrase reminds me that half-hearted preparation for worship is unacceptable to the LORD. Our God is holy, and those who serve Him should reflect His character in their lives, service, and worship.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which isin you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”

Copyright 2021 – Travis D. Smith