THE POWER OF BLESSING
Almighty God, to you the past, present, and future are as one. How great you are, Lord of time.
Read EXODUS 39:22–43
Other Priestly Garments
22 They made the robe of the ephod entirely of blue cloth—the work of a weaver— 23 with an opening in the center of the robe like the opening of a collar,[a] and a band around this opening, so that it would not tear. 24 They made pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen around the hem of the robe. 25 And they made bells of pure gold and attached them around the hem between the pomegranates. 26 The bells and pomegranates alternated around the hem of the robe to be worn for ministering, as the Lord commanded Moses.
27 For Aaron and his sons, they made tunics of fine linen—the work of a weaver— 28 and the turban of fine linen, the linen caps and the undergarments of finely twisted linen. 29 The sash was made of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn—the work of an embroiderer—as the Lord commanded Moses.
30 They made the plate, the sacred emblem, out of pure gold and engraved on it, like an inscription on a seal: holy to the Lord. 31 Then they fastened a blue cord to it to attach it to the turban, as the Lord commanded Moses.
Moses Inspects the Tabernacle
32 So all the work on the tabernacle, the tent of meeting, was completed. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses. 33 Then they brought the tabernacle to Moses: the tent and all its furnishings, its clasps, frames, crossbars, posts and bases; 34 the covering of ram skins dyed red and the covering of another durable leather[b] and the shielding curtain; 35 the ark of the covenant law with its poles and the atonement cover; 36 the table with all its articles and the bread of the Presence; 37 the pure gold lampstand with its row of lamps and all its accessories, and the olive oil for the light; 38 the gold altar, the anointing oil, the fragrant incense, and the curtain for the entrance to the tent; 39 the bronze altar with its bronze grating, its poles and all its utensils; the basin with its stand; 40 the curtains of the courtyard with its posts and bases, and the curtain for the entrance to the courtyard; the ropes and tent pegs for the courtyard; all the furnishings for the tabernacle, the tent of meeting; 41 and the woven garments worn for ministering in the sanctuary, both the sacred garments for Aaron the priest and the garments for his sons when serving as priests.
42 The Israelites had done all the work just as the Lord had commanded Moses. 43 Moses inspected the work and saw that they had done it just as the Lord had commanded. So Moses blessed them.
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.
What is the most affirming thing anyone has said to you in the last month or so? How did it make you feel?
Have you ever bought a piece of furniture from IKEA? Often, it comes packed flat in a heavy box with instructions showing you how to put it together in stages. First the base, then the frame and shelves, finally the top. When all the components are assembled properly, you’re ready to connect them – by using the handy L-wrench – to form the beautiful item you ordered. That’s where the Israelites are with the tabernacle. They’ve assembled the components and are almost ready to put them together, but before they do, our reading underscores two principles that will ensure that they use the tabernacle as God intended.
The first is holiness; that’s the message emblazoned on the priest’s turban (vs 30,31). In fact, holiness was contained in the first message God ever said to Moses1 and it has been the main thing God has been communicating in the desert: ‘I am the Lord, who brought you up out of Egypt to be your God; therefore be holy, because I am holy.’2 The second principle is obedience, and again we find the phrase ‘as the Lord commanded Moses’ woven through the descriptions (vs 26,29,31,32,42). Note the short, though highly significant, addendum on the tabernacle instruction sheet, ‘So Moses blessed them’ (v 43).
For many years I had a weekly phone call with my father, a faithful Encounter with God reader himself, and often he’d end by saying, ‘I love you and I’m proud of you’. A few years ago, he passed away unexpectedly and I realized his sign-off the Sunday before was the last thing I ever heard him say. Because so many rarely if ever hear those words, sharing a heartfelt word of affirmation and blessing with those around you may be the most effective ministry you’ll ever have.
Think of three people who could use encouragement. Pray for each, that God may give you an opportunity to share a word of blessing with them.
Merciful One: holiness and obedience, they are a constant challenge for me. Lord, I look to you to enable me in my daily walk with you.
1 Exod 3:5 2 Lev 11:45
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