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Beginning with Exodus 27:20 and the Lord’s commands about lampstand maintenance, the idea of a particular priesthood for the nation is introduced. Beginning here, and extending into the next two chapters (28 & 29), the Lord sets apart Aaron and his sons as his high priests. They are Yahweh’s servants, ministering in this holy place. Therefore God sets them apart for himself as his servants. God granted Aaron and his line an extraordinary privilege here. They were to be ever before God, serving him. As priests, they were set apart for Yahweh. For this reason, they were to worship continually, representing the people to God and God to the people. For this reason, Psalm 134 calls these special men to worship the God they served: Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! This ought to be our own attitude. We ought to regard ourselves to be God’s servants. And so we should bless and praise the Lord our God.
In the prayer service, we’ll be returning to Psalm 119. This week, we’ll begin by reviewing a setting of Psalm 11 we learned all the way back in August 2017, “I in the LORD Do Put My Trust” (Red 12).
This week, we begin looking at the commands of God concerning the Aaronic priesthood. The full exposition of Ex 27:20 through 29:46 will likely take several weeks. This week, we look at the introduction of Aaron and his sons and their initial responsibilities in the sanctuary, pertaining to the upkeep of the lampstand, and then the special garments that are to be made for these men to set them apart to God. The priests were a testament to the holiness of the sanctuary and strict laws God would have concerning the covenant and sacrificial system. As God’s servants, they were always standing, always busy in the Lord’s service. Furthermore, God himself established this priestly order. There is no other way these men could have functioned as they did. As you prepare for this Lord’s Day, read over the passage and give careful thought to these questions:
- What are priests?
- Why did God want the Aaronic priests to be dressed a certain way?
- How is Jesus Christ my Great High Priest? Does a passage like this help me understand my Savior better?
- The Apostle Peter says to New Testament believers, “you yourselves like living stones are being built upon into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 2:5). How then are you to be a priest? Are you doing this as a believer?
Call to Worship: Psalm 134:1-2
Hymn 58 [Gray] Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
Congregational Reading: Psalm 132:1-9
Hymn 265 [Red] Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted
Hymn 324 [Red] Sing Praise to God Who Reigns Above
Scripture Reading: Zechariah 14 & Romans 4:13-25
Hymn 307 [Red] How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds I suppose I often pick this hymn by John Newton when we have passages dealing with priests. This is because of the fifth stanza, where Newton strings together a series of powerful exclamations of Christ’s various offices for and ministries to believers. The stanza prays, Jesus! My Shepherd, Husband, Friend, My Prophet, Priest, and King, My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring. It is good for us not only to sing this prayer of praise to Christ, but consider how Jesus satisfies, in fact, each one of those names we ascribe to him in that stanza.
Sermon: Yahweh’s Priests I from Exodus 27:20-28:5
Hymn 300 [Red] Fairest Lord Jesus
In Sunday School, Dr. Eric White teaches on Psalm 126 as we continue the series on the Psalms of Ascents.