HOLY, HOLY, HOLY
Dear God, I thank you today for your changelessness. You are steadfast, reliable, and the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Read Exodus 28:31–43
Other Priestly Garments
31 “Make the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth, 32 with an opening for the head in its center. There shall be a woven edge like a collar[a] around this opening, so that it will not tear. 33 Make pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn around the hem of the robe, with gold bells between them. 34 The gold bells and the pomegranates are to alternate around the hem of the robe. 35 Aaron must wear it when he ministers. The sound of the bells will be heard when he enters the Holy Place before the Lord and when he comes out, so that he will not die.
36 “Make a plate of pure gold and engrave on it as on a seal: holy to the Lord. 37 Fasten a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban; it is to be on the front of the turban. 38 It will be on Aaron’s forehead, and he will bear the guilt involved in the sacred gifts the Israelites consecrate, whatever their gifts may be. It will be on Aaron’s forehead continually so that they will be acceptable to the Lord.
39 “Weave the tunic of fine linen and make the turban of fine linen. The sash is to be the work of an embroiderer. 40 Make tunics, sashes and caps for Aaron’s sons to give them dignity and honor. 41 After you put these clothes on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.
42 “Make linen undergarments as a covering for the body, reaching from the waist to the thigh. 43 Aaron and his sons must wear them whenever they enter the tent of meeting or approach the altar to minister in the Holy Place, so that they will not incur guilt and die.
“This is to be a lasting ordinance for Aaron and his descendants.
- Exodus 28:32 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
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.
ReflectBefore you read further, take a moment to listen to this verse: ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ (Psalm 46:10).
Old Testament passages can be hard for us twenty-first-century readers. The cultural notes are different, details bewildering and emphases sometimes perplexing. Were you surprised as you read, moving suddenly from descriptions of clothing to a warning that the priest might die in God’s presence (v 35)? If the priest is serving God, why might God find him guilty (v 43) to the extent that his life will be forfeit? Our informality-leaning culture can make this question particularly difficult to answer. Our tendency to view things from our own perspective also hinders. Yet not a single truth we know about God is via human deduction or insight, but because he has revealed it to us.
In Revelation 4:8, four living creatures in heaven never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty’ – the only time a description of God is repeated three times in the Bible. When referring to God, ‘holy’ doesn’t only mean purity, it means separate and transcendent (above and beyond us). God’s name is so holy that some Jews today won’t even fully write it down. This is the kind of God who inspires worship, awe, and honor.
‘Do not come any closer,’ God said … for the place where you are standing is holy ground’ (Exodus 3:5). Allow yourself to be filled with awe as you spend time in the presence of your holy God.
Holy One, at times I sense a distance between us. Forgive me if my sins have caused this. Enable me to learn lessons that will mature me in Christ.
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