I am in a group of believers who are writing – or “scribing” – our way through the Bible. Because we deal with smaller portions of Scripture and must slow down and pay attention to every word, we’re seeing things we would have normally missed on our fast-paced Bible-in-a-year plans. We’re nearing the end of Exodus this month and the people are building, weaving, hammering, and crafting all the elements of the Tabernacle.
Today’s text – Exodus 39:1-7 – is focused on making garments for Aaron, who served as the Lord’s high priest. These were “sacred garments” designed “to give him dignity and honor” as he went about his priestly duties (Ex 28:2). And they were a work of love and devotion. When the ancient craftsmen made the ephod, the apron-like garment worn over the robe and under the breast piece, the Scripture says, “they hammered out thin sheets of gold and cut strands to be worked into the blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen. Can you imagine the amount of dedication and intricate work that required?
But that’s nothing compared to how God is working in you. Everything God does in your life has one aim, to conform you to the likeness of His Son (Rom 8:29). I admit, sometimes that work isn’t pleasant. Lately, it feels like God is hammering away at me like the craftsmen hammered out that gold. You may feel that He has put you into a crucible for purifying silver over intense, prolonged heat. It might even seem that He has buried you underground like a seed. But the gold adds beauty to the garment, the purified silver reflects the Silversmith and the seed bursts forth from the ground to grow into a fruitful plant.
God has called you and me to be part of His royal priesthood (1 Pet 2:9)– not in the order of Aaron, but in the order of His Son, Jesus Christ. Like Aaron, we must be consecrated, cleansed, and made pure for this holy service. Aaron was washed with water and anointed with the blood of a bull. You and I are washed and anointed with the blood of the Lamb of God which cleanses us from all sin (1 Jn 1:7). Aaron received beautiful garments to wear; Christ gives us His own righteousness (2 Cor 5:21).
In the hammering and the heat and the darkness Beloved, consider this, God is not just weaving threads of His Son into your life, but making He is you into His very image.