Getting Ready to Stand Before God

should be humiliating.

Exodus 29:29-37 (ESV)

“The holy garments of Aaron shall be for his sons after him; they shall be anointed in them and ordained in them. The son who succeeds him as priest, who comes into the tent of meeting to minister in the Holy Place, shall wear them seven days.

“You shall take the ram of ordination and boil its flesh in a holy place. And Aaron and his sons shall eat the flesh of the ram and the bread that is in the basket in the entrance of the tent of meeting. They shall eat those things with which atonement was made at their ordination and consecration, but an outsider shall not eat of them, because they are holy. And if any of the flesh for the ordination or of the bread remain until the morning, then you shall burn the remainder with fire. It shall not be eaten, because it is holy.

“Thus you shall do to Aaron and to his sons, according to all that I have commanded you. Through seven days shall you ordain them, and every day you shall offer a bull as a sin offering for atonement. Also you shall purify the altar, when you make atonement for it, and shall anoint it to consecrate it. Seven days you shall make atonement for the altar and consecrate it, and the altar shall be most holy. Whatever touches the altar shall become holy.”

There is to be only one set of holy garments.

And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. – Exodus 28:2 (ESV)

These garments are initially for Aaron, but will pass to whoever succeeds him as head priest. Each time there is a new head priest, another seven day consecration ceremony must be performed.

The son who succeeds him as priest, who comes into the tent of meeting to minister in the Holy Place, shall wear them seven days.

One would think that becoming the next head priest would be pretty exciting, but the ceremony is a big letdown. A bull must be sacrificed on each of the seven days. On the first day, some of a ram can be eaten but no leftovers are allowed.

These special procedures are designed to make things holy. They’re designed to make an unworthy person clean enough to do this job. This should humble them as it hammers home that they’re unqualified.

That’s a far cry from a grand introduction to adoring crowds.

Christians have a personal relationship with God. Unfortunately we get used to it and forget how our sinfulness should lock us out of a relationship with Him. We need to get back to the humiliation of sin. Ask God to help you see your sinfulness for what it is. And don’t expect some great embarrassing crash-course from the college of hard knocks either. That’s how secular people learn secular humility.

Real humility doesn’t usually come from events; it comes from having your eyes opened.

The weekly study guides, which include discussion questions, are available for download here:

Mike Slay

As a mathematician, inventor, and ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in America, Mike Slay brings an analytical, conversational, and even whimsical approach to the daily study of God's Word.

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