Today we study a portion mainly concerned with the description of the priestly garments worn by the priests as they performed their daily functions in the Mishkan. We will cover this in a bit however I want us to revisit a subject we talked about last meeting.
Our question was, does G-d have a plan and purpose for each person’s life? For those of you reading this on the web, I will list here some of the verses we will be looking at today. In my opinion I believe that yes, G-d does have a plan and purpose for each of us. I base my thoughts on the following verses.
Psalms 139:13-16, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”
Ephesians 2:10, “So then, we are His masterpiece, created in the Anointed One, Yeshua, to accomplish good works. G-d prepared them beforehand so that we should live out our lives by doing them.”
Proverbs 16:9, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the L-rd directs his steps.”
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the L-rd, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Ephesians 1:4-5, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world in order for us to be holy and blameless before Him with love.”
Isaiah 14:24, “The L-rd of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so it shall come to pass. And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:”
I Timothy 2:3-4, “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
There are many other passages. I have only listed a few. I would ask you to consider this question and these passages and decide for yourself, does G-d truly have a plan for each person?
Now on to our Torah portion for the week. We will look at the garments worn by the high priest and other priests as they performed the daily functions in the Mishkan and later in the Temple. In Exodus 28:2 we read, “And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.” These garments were to be worn at all time when the priests were performing their duties in the Mishkan. They were not to be used for any other purpose. G-d’s desire here was that these garments were to be worn to fulfill His purpose alone. They were holy garments. They were garments for glory. Whose glory? The priests wearing them were to show the glory of G-d. The Hebrew word here for glory is Kavod. This word means honor. It also has a close relationship to our English word heavy. To treat something lightly would be the opposite of glorifying it. These garments were to remind the worshippers of the greatness and holiness of G-d. They would also remind the priests of the seriousness of the role they were appointed to do. The garments were not created to draw attention to or glorify the priest who wore them.
The laws of these garments teach us some important lessons about clothing. I believe this reminds us it is important how we dress. It matters to G-d. Clothing can bring honor or dishonor to G-d. Many times people pay more attention to the way they dress when they go out to eat in a nice restaurant than when they attend religious services. As I write this I expect it may sound rather old fashion in today’s world. However, if we think on these verses today we can see that when we come before G-d, the Maker of the Universe, He is due honor and respect and we should dress accordingly.
We often say G-d looks on the inside not on the outside. This is true at some level, however, it does not mean that this frees us to completely forget before Whom we stand. The laws and verses about the priests and how they were to dress when in the Mishkan should reinforce who G-d is in all His Glory. He is concerned with how His people present themselves to the world around them. The way we dress often reveals what is going on in our lives.
Remember who we are representing to the world. Don’t be fooled by the world’s standards. We are representatives of the King of Kings, G-d Almighty.
Bless each of you today and every day.