Day 24

Instructions for the Priestly Garments

from the Exodus reading plan

Exodus 28:1-43, Ezekiel 44:15-19, Ezekiel 44:23-29, Psalm 29:2, 1 Peter 2:4-5

BY Lindsey Jacobi

To this day my grandmother still puts out the Christmas throw pillows that I made for her when I was a kid. When my mom taught me how to use the sewing machine, everyone got a pillow because it was the only thing I could make. Sew four straight lines; add batting; adorn with sparkly puff paint. Done. I was very proud. Alas, that’s about where my sewing prowess ended. 

I don’t think anything I produced was much in the way of either glory or beauty. But it was made with enthusiasm and enough nearly-straight seams to hold it together. 

The skilled artisans called on in Exodus 28 not only had skill, but a spirit of wisdom given by God. Needless to say, these weren’t any old clothes they were tasked to make.

But why did it even matter what the priests wore? After all, God doesn’t care what packaging we wrap ourselves in. He sees the heart, not the outer trappings. Here, God’s holy, set-apart people were represented with these holy, set-apart garments.

Every piece of the priests’ garments had a specific purpose. The ephod was made to carry the names of the tribes of Israel before the Lord. The breastpiece was designed to help the priest make decisions as he carried the twelve tribes symbolically over his heart. The robe would be lined with bells, so the priest could be heard at all times, and retrieved if he died in God’s presence. The turban, worn on the head, was to represent an offering “HOLY TO THE LORD” (Exodus 28:36) for the sins of all of Israel. Every thread and stitch was designed for a reason—for glory and for beauty. 

What a beautiful example of what it means to bring God our very best. Not because He needs it. Not because He wants to see us all dressed up. It’s because the priests putting on these garments was a physical act of “ascrib[ing] to the LORD the glory due his name” (Psalm 29:2). Theirs was a high and holy calling, and everything from their head down to their toes was supposed to reflect that. The splendor of these garments wasn’t to glorify the priests. They pointed to God’s glory and God’s beauty. 

The problem occurs when we take God-given gifts that are supposed to point us to Him and use them to shine a spotlight on ourselves. We’ve adorned ourselves with the gifts and glory that were never ours to begin with. We’ve longed to be beautiful to the world instead of reflecting back to God His own beauty that He put within us. 

Those homemade pillows don’t still have a place of prominence because of their intrinsic beauty. My grandmother loves the one who made them. They point to another. So too, did the beautiful and intricately crafted priestly garments lift the eyes of Israel to another—the most glorious and beautiful One Himself. 

Post Comments (28)

28 thoughts on "Instructions for the Priestly Garments"

  1. Kenya Rafferty says:

    Cassidy – I am starting my 8th year teaching this year! It’s definitely a gift I feel we are given and I pray we can both use it for His glory.

  2. Heidi says:

    CASSIDY- thank you for investing Gods love into our children… praying for you today.
    Praying Ex 28:3- You are to instruct all the skilled artisans, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom…” You have already done the work to become SKILLED- now praying you to be filled with His Spirit of wisdom so that your skill can be magnified and used in a holy way to share His beauty to those you teach today… ❤️

  3. Kenya Rafferty says:

    We have to remember that like the Israelites, all that we have is a gift from God, just like the precious materials the Israelites were to use for the priestly clothing. He allowed them to be plundered from the Egyptians and not for the wealth of the people, but for His Glory and Beauty. Do I use the gifts he has given me in that way? Or do I think they are all just for myself?

  4. Angie Mills says:

    @MICHELLE BAUER — There have been devotionals. I have been having so many issues with the app that I just gave up using it altogether. I have been reading the devotions online. The website is much more stable than the app.

  5. Michelle Bauer says:

    Is there no devotional for the past 2 days? I am not able to see them.

  6. Kathy says:

    Good morning. This devotion so resonated with me. I am an artist and a high school art teacher. I have always been thankful for the gifts and abilities God has given me, but I haven’t always used them for His glory and His beauty. This is a beautiful reminder of why I create and why I teach.
    I start my 23rd year of teaching today (in-service, kids don’t come until Aug. 10). My prayer is that God will use my artistic abilities and my teaching abilities, that He has given me, to reflect back to Him and to others His glory and His beauty.
    Praying for all of the teachers going back to school. We’ve got this because we have a God who sees, Who hears, and Who loves us beyond measure.

  7. Cassidy says:

    Good morning! I hope everyone has a wonderful day. Prayers for me as I have my first day of school today – this is my 4th year teaching. I pray to use any gifts the Lord gave me to serve others and glorify him, rather than to make myself look beautiful for others.

  8. Kelly (NEO) says:

    Jesus as our High Priest left the glory He had in heaven and put on flesh…He bore our sins on His shoulders…His headpiece was a crown of thorns…when we place our trust in Him, the Holy Spirit gives us direction for decisions.

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