Lesson Text—Psalm 105:26 Psalm 105:26 He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.
Lesson Text—Exodus 28:1-3 Exodus 28:1-3 1And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
Lesson Text—Exodus 28:1-3 2 And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty. 3 And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron’s garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office.
Lesson Text—Hebrews 5:1-4 Hebrews 5:1-4 1For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
Lesson Text—Hebrews 5:1-4 2 Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity. 3 And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
Focus Verse—Exodus 28:1 Exodus 24:1 And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.
Focus Thought God has chosen His people for sacred service. We represent Him to the world.
Culture Connection Called to Serve I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons Some think a “calling” must be only for missionaries, pastors, evangelists, teachers, or some other full-time ministry. We may tend to think of pulpit-type ministry as being a “calling” and other vocations as being strictly secular. We may be tempted to divide our lives into two parts: the sacred and the secular. It is important to understand that preachers are not the only ones called!
We are all called to be saints and to serve God in whatever work or ministry we are involved. Devoted Christians are gifted and called by God to serve humanity in various ways. The average employee will spend forty hours per week or about two thousand hours a year in the workplace. This is a large block of time and energy. In a lifetime the average worker spends approximately a hundred thousand hours in the workplace. It is preposterous to think that God is not concerned about how we spend this time. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
Edward Harris, in his book titled God and Our Daily Work, says, “Work is not something peripheral to human life but is part of God’s designed purpose for man. Labor is not some appendage to man’s existence nor is it some man-appointed duty. It is of the very substance of human life as God intends it to be.” Some individuals have dramatic callings that involve visions, dreams, or unusual circumstances. Some are called to fulfill special missions that require great faith and sacrifice. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons This does not mean the rest of us are here just meandering about without direction or purpose. Each person should look at his or her station in life as a calling from God. Not only can we be productive workers, but we can also fulfill the Great Commission by being a witness to our fellow workers wherever God puts us.
Contemplating the Topic I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons The government of God is different from any form of human government. Nations may be ruled by dictatorship, monarchy, democracy, or republic, but God governs the church. God calls men and women to fulfill specific ministries in His kingdom. Whether in a pulpit ministry or other position of service, no individual places himself in a position of his own volition and will. God determines the level and the nature of the service performed by every believer in His kingdom.
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons God could use angels to carry out various tasks, but He calls us to use our individual talents and abilities to accomplish His purpose. We become channels of blessing and vessels pliable in the hands of God—not for personal aggrandizement, but for the glory of God. We may receive tributes and honor for what we accomplish, but we should direct to God all glory and praise. Without Him we can do nothing; we are merely fulfilling our call to serve in the vineyard of God.
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons To serve in God’s kingdom is to labor as a servant, to purposefully minister to others. In the process of preparing the Tabernacle for worship, a myriad of talented and willing individuals contributed their substance, their time, and their skills. God instructed Moses in every minute detail and made him responsible to find men and women capable of serving the Lord in those capacities. Sometimes the realization that God has called us to serve Him overwhelms us.
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons Instead of merely observing what others do, we can contribute personally in some way as we use our talents for the glory of God. God called Aaron and his sons from among the Israelites and set them apart to minister in the priestly office. In heeding the call of God, they no longer could live to please themselves. Their daily conduct was to honor God.
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons God’s people are still set apart for sacred service, a royal priesthood whose lives should honor and glorify God. Our devotion and service stem not only from our love for the One who redeemed us and for the world for which He died, but also out of obligation to our Savior and to the world. (See Romans 1:14-17.)
Searching the Scriptures God Chose Aaron and His Sons A. Ministers unto the Lord Ministers unto the Lord The authority of Aaron and his sons to minister came not through their own initiation but by divine call. The call to priestly office extended to succeeding generations of Aaron and his sons, and anyone who unlawfully usurped that authority would be killed.
The priests consecrated their lives in order to be fit for service and to honor God. Members of the church serve as royal priests because of the new-birth experience. We were born into the church by receiving the Holy Ghost, and through that experience God called us to minister to Him by our consecration and separation. When he presented the sacrificial blood at the Mercy Seat, the priest fulfilled an intermediary, or intercessory, role to plead the cause of mankind. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
Some of the priests may have realized their ministry looked forward to a better priesthood. But even though their service foreshadowed a better covenant, in their day they played a vital role in the atonement of God’s people. The Tabernacle symbolized God’s willingness for sinful mankind to approach Him in their quest for mercy. Even the consecrated priests had to receive atonement for their sin. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons Although the people directed their sacrifices and requests for mercy toward God, the actual efforts came through the hands of a fallible priest. However, atonement comes only through God according to His own way. The type and shadow of the Mosaic law testified of the future ministry of Jesus Christ as the great High Priest.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6).
Exodus 28:1 “And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons” (Exodus 28:1).
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons Since God is sovereign and self-sufficient, He does not need us or depend upon us. But we need Him; without Him we are nothing and can do nothing. When we acknowledge our human frailty and need of divine intervention for salvation, we become aware of our reliance upon the mercy of God. Thus the priests appealed to God both for their own existence and for that of the people.
The priestly role entailed more than presiding over sacrifices at the brazen altar. For example, priests maintained and used the laver of water, the golden candlestick, the table of shewbread, and the altar of incense in the way God had prescribed. However, God must have derived the greatest enjoyment from the exuberant worship of choir and instruments. When we offer to God our love, adoration, praise, and thanksgiving, we are ministering unto the Lord. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
Ministers for Israel B. Ministers for Israel The calling of the priests answered the need of mankind to draw near to God in a way He would accept. For instance, God placed a “dead line” around the foot of Mount Sinai and forbade the people to touch the sacred mountain. The uncleanness and corruption of mankind could approach the holiness and purity of God only in the way He allowed.
Only the priests could enter the Tabernacle; the people did not dare to venture beyond the outer court where they offered their sacrifices at the brazen altar. The priests officiated at the sacrifice and then washed in the laver of water before proceeding further. Moreover, only the high priest could go behind the veil and into the presence of God. This was not an everyday ritual as were some of the priestly tasks. It was a yearly event, every step of which had been divinely ordained. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
The life of not only the priest but also that of the people depended on the precision of the priest in following the plan of God. Each year on the Day of Atonement, the people waited with bated breath to see if the priest would reemerge after offering the blood at the Mercy Seat. If he emerged from the Tabernacle, they knew God had accepted their sacrifice and granted their plea for mercy. If he did not come back out, they knew God had not been pleased with either them or the priest, and the priest had forfeited his life. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons The responsibility for precise adherence to the rituals rested heavily upon the priests. Only through the faithful performance of their duties could the Israelites’ sins be rolled ahead for another year. The blood of animals could not remit their sins, but it served to roll them ahead toward the time of the New Covenant when a better High Priest would offer His sinless blood and pardon and conquer their sin.
God Consecrated the Priests for Service A. Consecrated in Seven Steps Consecrated in Seven Steps A consecrated person sets himself apart for service to God and lives a holy life. Anyone who approaches God first must present himself unto God to be separated and sanctified by the Lord. “Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord” (Isaiah 52:11).
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons God will not tolerate sin because it alienates individuals from His holiness. Individuals are able to enter into His presence only through repentance. The work of God in the Tabernacle, as in all encounters with God, required reverence, awe, and respect. The temple of God is a holy place where mankind approaches God humbly.
1. Aaron and his sons were called out from the midst of the people. God chose Aaron and his sons for sacred service, requiring a distinct separation between them and the masses of Israelites. Israel saw and understood that the hand of God rested upon that group of men. Serving in an exclusive capacity, they no longer would be their own; they had given themselves to the service of God. They felt the weight of their responsibility but also the privilege of being set aside by God for His service. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
God said, “I have given your priest’s office unto you as a service of gift” (Numbers 18:7). No longer could they live “normal” lives or entangle themselves with many of the mundane affairs of life. 2. Aaron and his sons were brought to the entrance of the Tabernacle to be examined. According to God’s instruction, Aaron and his sons were examined to assure they were free of any physical blemishes or disfigurement that would disqualify them for service (Leviticus 21:16-21). I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons Physical defilements under the Law were symbolic of uncleanness. 3. They were washed. First, Moses washed Aaron and his sons (Exodus 29:4, 7), which signified the cleansing and sanctification of their souls.
Psalm 51:2 “Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:2).
The washing and anointing of the priests foreshadowed the new-birth experience. They could not minister without first being washed and cleansed. God would not entrust them with priestly responsibilities until they submitted to this step. When we come to God, we repent and ask His forgiveness. We then submit to water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. We rise to walk in newness of life, experiencing the thrill of freedom from our past and trusting God to remember our sins no more. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons 4. They were anointed. Anointing symbolized the Spirit of God that indwells the believer today. Aaron could not serve as a priest until Moses anointed him with the holy oil. Moses also sprinkled anointing oil upon the Tabernacle, the altar and all of its vessels, the laver, and the priest’s foot.
Leviticus 8:10-11 “And Moses took the anointing oil, and anointed the tabernacle and all that was therein, and sanctified them. And he sprinkled thereof upon the altar seven times, and anointed the altar and all his vessels, both the laver and his foot, to sanctify them” (Leviticus 8:10-11).
We cannot minister to the Lord with a carnal nature and carnal reasoning. The Spirit of God must anoint our body, soul, and spirit, and we must live consecrated, holy lives. Whether it is witnessing, preaching, singing, or any other aspect of the work of God, we must have the anointing of the Holy Ghost to be effective and acceptable to God. Jesus was anointed with the Spirit. Though He was a man, in Him was all the fullness of the Godhead bodily. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons He made it clear that without the Spirit of God He could not have done the mighty works He did, for He stated, “I can of mine own self do nothing” (John 5:30). He was God manifested in flesh, and all the fullness of the Godhead dwelled bodily in Him and provided holy, anointed power. (See Colossians 2:9; John 14:10.)
Acts 10:38 “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power” (Acts 10:38).
Isaiah 61:1 Isaiah prophesied concerning Jesus in a passage Jesus Himself quoted: “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound” (Isaiah 61:1). (See also Luke 4:18-19.)
The anointing oil Moses used to consecrate the priests for service symbolized the importance of the Spirit of God upon our endeavors. 5. They were clothed. The priests’ clothing was for “glory and for beauty” (Exodus 28:40). The magnificent attire of the high priest glowed and glittered with fine linen in pleasing color combinations, interwoven with golden threads, adorned with onyx and twelve precious stones. They could not perform their priestly role without first being robed appropriately. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
The salvation experience is like being clothed in a robe of righteousness. God beautifies the meek with salvation, not with costly and elaborate outward attire but with a robe of righteousness and the inward ornaments of a meek and quiet spirit and attitudes that reflect the indwelling Spirit of Christ. When clothed by God, we bear the fruit of His Spirit, which draws others to Him. Moses dressed Aaron in a coat of fine, pure-white linen, a symbol of the righteousness of God. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons Aaron’s blue outer robe had a lower hem adorned with tassels resembling pomegranates alternating with golden bells. Any movement of the priest set the bells jingling (Exodus 39:24-26). The priest wore an ephod of thin golden plates embroidered with fine linen of blue, purple, and scarlet. The breastplate, with twelve different-colored gems set in golden settings, represented the twelve tribes of Israel. (See Exodus 39:6, 14.)
On his head the priest wore a miter of fine linen, fastened to which was a plate of pure gold etched with the words “HOLINESS TO THE LORD” (Exodus 39:28-30). (See Leviticus 8:7-9 for the layering of the priest’s garments.) 6. Their hands were filled. The priests brought a bullock, the largest animal used for sacrifice, for their sin offering. Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the bullock, identifying with the sacrifice. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons
I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons They felt the struggle of the bullock in the throes of death and sensed the horrible price paid for their sin. They watched as Moses collected the blood and poured it out at the bottom of the altar. Moses then cut up the bullock and placed the choice parts upon the brazen altar for a sin offering. The rest of the animal had to be burned outside the camp. God required a death to atone for their sin, and the animal suffered death in their place.
Then Moses brought another animal, the ram of consecration. Aaron and his sons laid their hands upon the head of the ram. Moses slew it and applied its blood to the tip of Aaron’s right ear, his right thumb, and the great toe of his right foot. He repeated the process for Aaron’s sons. This meant they should hear the voice of God and work and walk in His ways. Moses filled the hands of Aaron and his sons with portions of the ram to wave before the Lord. He also gave them unleavened bread, a cake of oiled bread, and one wafer. I. God Chose Aaron and His Sons