Day 39

Making the Priestly Garments

Exodus 39:1-43, Psalm 110:1-4, Hebrews 5:1-10

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: Exodus 39:1-43, Psalm 110:1-4, Hebrews 5:1-10

I believe with all my heart that these detailed descriptions of the construction of the tabernacle in Exodus are as much the inspired Word of God as my favorite psalm. But for a free-spirited, color-outside-the-lines kind of girl like me, the sheer number of details recorded in these chapters gives me flashbacks to my freshman accounting class.  

Why did the Lord instruct Moses to build altars and tables, lampstands and basins, tunics and turbans with such extreme attention to detail? Why were these details recorded so meticulously? All these centuries later, what do they have to teach us about the character of God and our relationship with Him?

Let’s zero in for a moment on Exodus 39, where we find the description of the priestly garments. This was more than a garment. With gold and stones, bells and crowns, this was an ensemble made to take our breath away. But why? Aaron’s robes weren’t designed to turn heads at Fashion Week. They wouldn’t be sold to the highest bidder. So why was such detailed extravagance needed?

Peel away the layers, and we find the answer in a single thread. The scarlet thread mentioned over and over in Exodus 39 is the same thread that is stitched throughout all of God’s Word. It is the thread God used to sew together garments of grace for Adam and Eve after the fall (Genesis 3:21). It is the thread that signaled salvation from Rahab’s window (Joshua 2:18). And most significantly, we see it at the cross, as trails of blood stream down our Savior’s face as evidence of His atonement for our sins.

Aaron’s priestly garments were woven with red thread, a picture of the gospel illustrated by the thread of salvation woven throughout all of God’s Word. The weight of the robe covered with stones was symbolic of the burden of sin; as Aaron slipped it on, I imagine its heaviness reminded him of the weight of his own sin and of ours. The crown on the priest’s head was a shadow of the crown of salvation purchased for us at Christ’s cross.

The garment maker couldn’t have known it, but he was preaching the gospel. Stitch by meticulous stitch, he was proclaiming salvation was near. Through the lens of the cross we see these extravagant robes showcase an extravagant gospel.

It’s possible the craftsmen tasked with the minutiae of the tabernacle felt overwhelmed and even belabored by the tedium of so many details. Obedience can often feel like that. As we shepherd our own children, or serve in other often thankless ways, or pull out our Bibles listening for God’s voice again and again, there are times when we all wonder, Why does all of this matter?

The answer rarely seems to come in the moment, but in hindsight we see that routine obedience to the Lord always reveals the gospel thread. He is using our seemingly small acts of surrender to transform these filthy rags into robes of righteousness. As we trust and obey, we can look back and sigh with gratitude, saying, “as the LORD had commanded, so [we have] done it” (Exodus 39:43).


Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (61)

61 thoughts on "Making the Priestly Garments"

  1. Christie Algeo says:


  2. Darci Thompson says:

    I am catching up from getting behind on my readings this week. I was feeling disheartened because I want to go to Palm Sunday service, but we were hit by s blizzard last night and I don’t want to take my baby outside in the cold. As I sit here and feed my daughter scrambled eggs, we are listening to our devotional on audio. The paragraph about “Why does all of this matter?” . . . Oh, that caught my heart!! As a stay-at-home mom, I hear that phrase in my head more often than I would like to admit. My baby girl is joyfully chirping in her high chair, eggs are on the floor and all over her face, my coffee is cold, but THIS matters! The brief prayers I utter throughout the day; they matter. The prayer I say with my 9-month-old before we eat; it matters. Being kind and patient throughout my day as a model for her; this matters. My actions matter. I am in the middle of moving to a different town and with a baby, have not been able to faithfully go to church and have struggled to get involved more at our church, but the friendships I have made with other moms; these matter. I am still getting use to this season of life. Some days are hard…really hard. But, I love it. Thank you, Father, for speaking to me today. And thanks to this SRT community. ❤️

    1. Crystal says:

      How do you listen to the devotions?

      1. jasmine says:

        yes. how?

  3. Tricia says:

    Thank you, Erin. Your words really spoke to my heart. I am a few days behind but I loved this study.

  4. Peony Noirr says:


  5. Merari Washington says:

    This whole new insight has bought tears to my eyes. Oh how much we need Yashua and how we have missed and overlooked so many details of him because we diligent in our reading but not reading seeing him in every passage! Thanks for sharing! I’m overwhelmed with joy and humbled by how much more I need to grow in Him! God bless you with more kingdom revelation!

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