Friday, June 16, 2023

2023.06.16 Hopewell @Home ▫ Exodus 39:1–31

Read Exodus 39:1–31

Questions from the Scripture text: How do Exodus 39:1-7 compare to Exodus 28:6–12? What interesting addition does Exodus 39:3 make? Why would they need to do this (end of Exodus 39:7)? How do Exodus 39:8-21 compare to Exodus 28:15–28? What was this breastplate called (cf. Exodus 28:15)? What had Exodus 28:29–30 added about how this breastplate would be used? How do Exodus 39:22-26 compare to Exodus 28:31–34? What had Exodus 28:35 added? How do Exodus 39:27-29 compare to Exodus 28:39–42? What is left out this time? How do Exodus 39:30-31 compare to Exodus 28:36–37? How does Exodus 39:30 “cap” the entire description of the priestly garments?

What does God teach us in the recounting of the actual making of the priestly garments? Exodus 39:1–31 looks forward to the evening sermon on the coming Lord’s Day. In these thirty-one verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that God gives us all sorts of wisdom for serving Him: obedience to His Word, skill in His world, faith to trust in His provision, and love to value Him above all.

This is the last section of the actual constructing of the tabernacle: the garments of the high priest and the rest of the priesthood. There is a climax of sorts here because of how personal these items are. They are worn by the priest himself, and the people are represented all over the high priest. And in this climax, we see four types of wisdom provision from God.

Word wisdom: obedience. The first part of wisdom is recognizing that God is God, and we are not. Submission to God’s Word, obedience to God’s commands, is the heartbeat of true wisdom. This passage is marked by seven instances of “as Yahweh had commanded Moses.” Here is the greatness of the wisdom in constructing the tabernacle: obedience. Our greatest wisdom is simply to believe and obey the Word of God.

World wisdom: employed in obedience. Comparing this chapter to chapter 28, Exodus 39:3 is an unique addition. It is an ingenious process for the production of thread made out of actual gold to work into the garments. It is just one example of a multitude of skills and processes that had to have been employed in the making of all of these things. In the service of obedience, which is wisdom from the Word, God gave them also artistic skill—wisdom in His world, in service of that obedience. We, too, must seek from God to give us increased knowledge and skill that can be used in service of obedience to Him.

Spiritual wisdom: trusting in grace. How could man be safe in the presence of God? Man’s representative stands as holy before God, having atoned for our sin. And man’s representative is outfitted by God Himself for that work. “Holiness to Yahweh” (Exodus 39:30). God’s mercy and strength have displaced our guilt and weakness. This is spiritual wisdom: to trust in God’s provision of atonement and strength instead of our own.

Eternal wisdom: God Himself in the gospel. This is the great wisdom: to treasure God Himself above all else. And this is what God teaches us by the “uniform” in which he stands before the Lord. All of these precious metals and gemstones… what are they good for? They are merely the clothing that is necessary to stand before God. And the value is infinitely greater at the last, when we are dressed in Christ Himself and His righteousness. He appears in our behalf dressed in His Sonship and His Perfect Obedience.

How are you actively learning what the Bible teaches and commands? How do the approach of your heart and practice of your habits foster submission to His Word? In what fields of knowledge and skill are you proficient and/or increasing? How are you aiming at obedience to God’s Word with this knowledge? How are you trusting God’s provision for righteousness? What shows that God Himself is your greatest treasure?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we thank You for giving us Yourself in the Lord Jesus Christ. And we thank You for giving Him to be our Great High Priest. Grant that we would know the greatness of the riches that have been provided to us in Him. Give us Your Spirit to work in us faith and obedience to Your Word. Give us increasing knowledge of the world that You created and skill with which to serve and obey You in it. And give us always to know that the Lord Jesus intercedes for us, we ask in His Name, AMEN! 

ARP24 “The Earth and the Riches” or TPH508 “Jesus, Priceless Treasure”

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