I’m preaching in Isaiah, lectio continua, and on this last Lord’s Day we were in Isaiah 55. I am also reading Exodus on my own. The way they inform each other is, well, interesting. Since they have the same ‘capital-A’ Author, I am not surprised, but intrigued.
Isaiah 55:8 says…
For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.
In Exodus, Moses goes up on the mountain with Yahweh, who gives instructions for many things, including the construction of the Tabernacle and the garments of Aaron the High Priest. He tells Moses…
Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to Me as priest, Aaron and Aaron’s sons: Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty. So you shall speak to all who are gifted artisans, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments, to consecrate him, that he may minister to Me as priest. Exodus 28:1-3
What follows in this chapter describes an intensity of beauty, color and symbolism in Aaron’s priestly garments that is beyond our ability to comprehend. Yahweh gives the “spirit of wisdom” to the otherwise gifted artisans, and we can only imagine the jaw-dropping beauty and glory of Aaron’s attire.
In the next chapter, about the setting-apart of Aaron and his sons to Yahweh’s service, we read…
And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments, on his sons and on the garments of his sons with him; and he and his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him. Exodus 29:21
Now, in a culture where we think that a successful meal is one that you don’t wear, This does not compute. Blood and olive oil leave stains. Just try getting olive oil out of your Hermes tie. It’s worse than chocolate milk shake. Our thoughts are to cringe at the besmirching of Aaron’s glorious clothing. Thankfully, our thoughts are not His thoughts.
If we read further…
So I will consecrate the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. I will also consecrate both Aaron and his sons to minister to Me as priests. Exodus 29:44
The blood and the olive oil are the signs of Yahweh’s consecration of Aaron and his sons to the Tabernacle service. They are signs of His covenant faithfulness to Israel. They do not besmirch Aaron’s garments, but sanctify them. The blood and the oil have their own beauty and glory that exceeds that of the garments.
No…His thoughts surely are not our thoughts.
Rejoicing in the Lord…becuase we can.