A GOD-FASHIONED LIFE
Eternal One, often I tend to bury myself in fleeting nonsense. Grant me a realistic perspective and a wise set of priorities as I live for you.
Read Exodus 39:1–21
The Priestly Garments
39 From the blue, purple and scarlet yarn they made woven garments for ministering in the sanctuary. They also made sacred garments for Aaron, as the Lord commanded Moses.
2 They[a] made the ephod of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. 3 They hammered out thin sheets of gold and cut strands to be worked into the blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen—the work of skilled hands. 4 They made shoulder pieces for the ephod, which were attached to two of its corners, so it could be fastened. 5 Its skillfully woven waistband was like it—of one piece with the ephod and made with gold, and with blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and with finely twisted linen, as the Lord commanded Moses.
6 They mounted the onyx stones in gold filigree settings and engraved them like a seal with the names of the sons of Israel. 7 Then they fastened them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel, as the Lord commanded Moses.
8 They fashioned the breastpiece—the work of a skilled craftsman. They made it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. 9 It was square—a span[b] long and a span wide—and folded double. 10 Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. The first row was carnelian, chrysolite and beryl; 11 the second row was turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald; 12 the third row was jacinth, agate and amethyst; 13 the fourth row was topaz, onyx and jasper.[c] They were mounted in gold filigree settings. 14 There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.
15 For the breastpiece they made braided chains of pure gold, like a rope. 16 They made two gold filigree settings and two gold rings, and fastened the rings to two of the corners of the breastpiece. 17 They fastened the two gold chains to the rings at the corners of the breastpiece, 18 and the other ends of the chains to the two settings, attaching them to the shoulder pieces of the ephod at the front. 19 They made two gold rings and attached them to the other two corners of the breastpiece on the inside edge next to the ephod. 20 Then they made two more gold rings and attached them to the bottom of the shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the seam just above the waistband of the ephod. 21 They tied the rings of the breastpiece to the rings of the ephod with blue cord, connecting it to the waistband so that the breastpiece would not swing out from the ephod—as the Lord commanded Moses.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectAre you striving to ‘take on an entirely new way of life – a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you’ (Ephesians 4:22b–24, MSG)?
In Exodus 28, God had said, ‘Make sacred garments for your brother Aaron to give him dignity and honor. Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron…’ (28:2,3). It might seem as if God was giving these workers a free hand to design the priestly garments as they saw fit. But the comprehensive specifications that follow – about colors, measurements, design, decorations, even how these garments are to be worn and fastened – make it abundantly clear that these are God-fashioned garments with absolutely no scope for freelance fashion designers!
Wedding planners may have incredibly creative ideas, backed by a wealth of expertise and experience. But they plan other people’s weddings! Their role is not to execute their own ‘ideal’ wedding but to facilitate realization of the couple’s dreams. Exodus 39 details the faithfulness of the workers who ‘made sacred garments … as the Lord commanded’ (v 1b). The sevenfold repetition of ‘as the Lord commanded Moses’ (39:1,5,7,21,26,29,31) shows that the ‘wisdom’ of these workers is not demonstrated in their ability to turn out eye-catching new designs but in their readiness to conform to God’s pattern.
It’s a good idea to remember that our ‘good ideas’ are truly good and great only when they are aligned with God’s ideas!
Lord God, as I seek to live for you on a daily basis, may the fruit of your spirit be increasingly seen in me.
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