Introduction & Prayer
Exodus 28 reveals to us the detailed blueprints of the clothing that the priests were to wear as they ministered to God.
Do you have something that you use for specific purposes? Maybe a pair of shoes? Or maybe a special coat?
What makes that pair of shoes or coat special?
Pray and ask God to reveal Himself in the clothing that He required of the priests.
What does knowing the detailed blueprints of the tabernacle and furniture tell us about God’s nature?
Read Exodus 28:1-4
“Call for your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. Set them apart from the rest of the people of Israel so they may minister to me and be my priests. 2 Make sacred garments for Aaron that are glorious and beautiful. 3 Instruct all the skilled craftsmen whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom. Have them make garments for Aaron that will distinguish him as a priest set apart for my service. 4 These are the garments they are to make: a chestpiece, an ephod, a robe, a patterned tunic, a turban, and a sash. They are to make these sacred garments for your brother, Aaron, and his sons to wear when they serve me as priests.
Why does God want them to have priests that are set apart for God’s purpose?
Why did God want them to understand the difference in holy and unholy?
Read Exodus 28:6-8
6 “The craftsmen must make the ephod of finely woven linen and skillfully embroider it with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. 7 It will consist of two pieces, front and back, joined at the shoulders with two shoulder-pieces. 8 The decorative sash will be made of the same materials: finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread.
The children of Israel were slaves for 400+ years. Even after they left, they remained people of the land. In this season, they were in essence migrant, farmers. How would they have seen these pieces of clothing? Would the clothes been similar to what they might wear?
How do you feel when you show up to an outdoor wedding in shorts and everyone else is in a suit? [Comfortable is not the right answer!]
Read Exodus 28:9-12
9 “Take two onyx stones, and engrave on them the names of the tribes of Israel. 10 Six names will be on each stone, arranged in the order of the births of the original sons of Israel. 11 Engrave these names on the two stones in the same way a jeweler engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in settings of gold filigree. 12 Fasten the two stones on the shoulder-pieces of the ephod as a reminder that Aaron represents the people of Israel. Aaron will carry these names on his shoulders as a constant reminder whenever he goes before the Lord.
The stones and gold would have made the outfits very regal. What was the benefit for Aaron to wear something fit for a king?
Why was it important for the people to see Aaron in clothing of honor and dignity?
Why would God have wanted them to have the names of the tribes of Israel on their outfits?
Ask the group if they grew up in a home with a living room. When was the living room used? Were you allowed in the living room? When you were allowed into the living room, how did it make you feel?
Read Exodus 28:15-29
15 “Then, with great skill and care, make a chestpiece to be worn for seeking a decision from God. Make it to match the ephod, using finely woven linen embroidered with gold and with blue, purple, and scarlet thread. 16 Make the chestpiece of a single piece of cloth folded to form a pouch nine inches square. 17 Mount four rows of gemstones on it…Skip to verse 21 21 Each stone will represent one of the twelve sons of Israel, and the name of that tribe will be engraved on it like a seal. 29 “In this way, Aaron will carry the names of the tribes of Israel on the sacred chestpiece over his heart when he goes into the Holy Place. This will be a continual reminder that he represents the people when he comes before the Lord.
Why do you think God put multiple reminders of the children of Israel on the outfits?
Who should we be reminded of when we go before God?
Who is one person that you will commit to remembering daily for the month of September?
Read Exodus 28:30
30 Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord.
This was a method that God used to give His people direction. How does God lead us today?
What do we do if we feel God is leading in a direction that is not consistent with God’s Word?
How do we make sure that we are being led by the Spirit as opposed to being led by our flesh? (EXPLORE MORE: Read Galatians 5:16-26)
Read Exodus 28:35
35 Aaron will wear this robe whenever he ministers before the Lord, and the bells will tinkle as he goes in and out of the Lord’s presence in the Holy Place. If he wears it, he will not die.
Has anyone ever done anything scary or dangerous?
How did you feel? Were you being reckless?
Think about a police officer or someone in the fire department or someone who serves in a military conflict zone, how do you think they feel before they are entering a dangerous situation?
When Aaron went into the Holy of Holies, it was a scary moment. If Aaron didn’t come properly, then he would suffer the consequence. Do we have that type of reverence for God?
For those of you who had a living room in your home or in the home in which you grew up, how did it feel to get invited to the living room?
It can be difficult for many of us to grasp this concept. We want to approach God in a real and transparent fashion which is good. But sometimes our transparency is just our way of digging our heels into what we believe or how we behave. In other words, we in essence tell God, “well this is just the way I am. This is my opinion, God.” How does this type of living differ from the idea of being led by the Spirit?
God wants us to approach Him in Truth and in Holiness—there is an openness and honesty in which we approach God—but there is also a fear and reverence and honor in which we come to God—it doesn’t have to be either/or, it can be both/and. God calls us to live a life of being led by His Spirit.
If God calls His children a kingdom of priests, then how should I live my life as a priest of this kingdom? What does kingdom living look like?
How should I see the broken people that God has placed all around me?
God covers us in His righteousness. How should we see ourselves in light of what Christ has done?
Ask God to help you to live a life of honor—a life of being led by the Spirit. Pray for the individual that you will be praying for during the month of September.