Exodus 29:4, 7, 21
“A concealed matter”
Proverbs 25 verse 2 makes a very puzzling statement when it declares, “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings is to search out a matter.” My first reaction to that truth is, “Well it may be true but sure is frustrating!” I think all of us Christians have at times been frustrated at God’s concealing a matter and our inability to search it out! But this week in our study through Exodus we received an excellent illustration of this truth at work when we were going through the elaborate ordination ceremony given to Moses to be done for Aaron and his sons as priests. Saints, the first hidden matter to me was what ever else we were about to discover in this ceremony we must forget that, we never come to God based upon what we do, who we are, or what we promise in the future. No we come to Him empty, just as we are and allow him to do everything. It is only in this that we are set apart for service! For sake of time two parts of this ordination ceremony really caught my attention:
First in verse 4 They were striped down and washed! I got that part because when we take a bath or shower we do so because we are dirty. In the Bible sin is depicted as dirt or defilement. So when Aaron and his sons were washed all over it was symbolic of the complete cleansing of the Lord. But why was this only to be done once at the priest’s ordination and after this all they needed was to wash their hands and feet? I remembered the words of Jesus to Peter at his reluctance at having Jesus wash his feet? When Jesus said, “A person who has bathed all over does not need to wash, except for the feet, to be entirely clean. And you are clean.” God “concealed a matter” but then I realized by the Holy Spirit that once Jesus has cleansed us all that we need to make sure of is that: What we do (our hands) and where we go (our feet) are washed through the word of God.
The final concealed matter from God is found in verses 7 and 21where we read of the two things the priests were to be anointed with, the oil and the blood and the locations of that anointing their, right ear, the thumb of their right hand and the big toe of their right foot. These were the same two items that the tabernacle was anointed with. Thus the servant was forever linked with the place of service.
- 7 The oil: In chapter 30:23-25 we are told that the anointing oil was made out of, “myrrh, cinnamon, cane, cassia and olive oil”. This would have been very fragrant oil. It was poured over the head so that it dripped off of the beard and onto the breastplate with the engraved stones of the tribes of the nation. Oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit and we read in 2 Cor. 2:14 that, “God always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.” I get that through us the work of the Holy Spirit diffuses the knowledge of Jesus every where we go specifically those whom God has called us to serve.
- 21 The blood: That leads to me to another “concealed matter”: Why was the blood placed on the priests, right ear, the thumb of their right hand and the big toe of their right foot? God was giving them three vivid pictures of what He was anointing through the blood of the innocent ram. He was setting them apart in: “who they listen too, what they put their hands to work on, and where they were to walk.” God wanted to remind them that they must always listen to His word, do His work, and walk in His way.
Ah “glorious to search out a matter” indeed fellow servants of Jesus, “glorious”!