Shemot/Exodus 28:4 They are to make holy garments for your brother Aharon (CJB)
Aharon the brother of Moshe was to have magnificent garments made for him to wear when he was serving G-d in the office of Cohen haGadol. These were no ordinary garments, to be made from the same materials used for the hangings in the Mishkan: "gold; blue, purple and scarlet yarn; and fine linen" (Shemot 28:5, CJB). In a sense, Aharon himself was to be a living part of the fabric of the Mishkan, uniquely representing G-d to man and man to G-d.
Clothing is an important indicator of the person and what is going on inside him. When Yonah haNavi (Jonah the Prophet) was sent to the wicked city of Nin'veh, he had only been at work proclaiming G-d's impending judgment on the city for one day before the king dressed in sackcloth and sat in ashes. More, he commanded that all the people were to do the same, as well as fasting and crying out to G-d. The Scriptures tell us that, "when G-d saw by their deeds that they had turned from the evil ways, He relented and did not bring on them the punishment He had threatened" (Yona 3:10, CJB).
Clothing is used as an important metaphor in the B'rit Chadashah to transition from the physical to the spiritual. Rav Sha'ul wrote to Timothy that instead of being dressed in costly garments and jewelry, "women should adorn themselves with what is appropriate for women who claim to be worshipping G-d, namely, good deeds" (1 Tim 2:10, CJB). Similarly, Kefa urges both men and leaders to "clothe yourselves in humility towards one another, because G-d opposes the arrogant, but to the humble He gives grace" (1 Peter 5:5, CJB). Just like the splendid robes of the Cohen haGadol and the sackcloth and ashes, how we appear physically and spiritually before G-d is an important indication of the attitude of our heart toward Him and those around us.
So much so that Rav Sha'ul wrote to the Colossians: "clothe yourselves with feelings of compassion, and with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience ... above all these, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together perfectly" (Col 3:12,14, CJB). As believers, we might all be wary of wearing the latest Gucci fashions or jewelry from Tiffany's - but how are we doing on the attitude front?
Further Study: Colossians 3:10-15, Ephesians 6:11-17
Application: As you go about your affairs today - what character traits will you be showing to the world? Are they consistent with being a servant of the Most High G-d, a bond-servant of Yeshua the Messiah?
© Jonathan Allen, 2004
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