“…they made garments of ministry.”
– Exodus 39:1
Preparations for the Tabernacle of Meeting have all been accomplished. Now, Moses was erecting the tents and placing the altar, the Ark of the Covenant, and all the other skillfully made articles in their prescribed positions. We repeatedly read that Moses performed his tasks, “as the Lord had commanded.” That is always the best way to carry out our service to the Lord, just as He commands. Nothing more and nothing less.
Ministry, at its core, is service. It literally means “to serve.” To serve someone other than self. Aaron and his sons were established and anointed by God as priests to serve Him. In addition to the specific instructions the Lord gave Moses to create the tabernacle, God gave specific instructions regarding the priesthood as well. Before putting on the garments of ministry, the priests were to be washed with water. And it tells us the washing was to be done by Moses himself.
Imagine that! Once a great leader in Egypt with servants for himself has now been brought to a place where he is washing others. A leader over much currently serving those who were serving God. Is this not real spiritual leadership? Could this be something that is lacking in the church today? Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Ministers are for churches and not churches for ministers. In our work among the churches, we must not dare to view them as estates to be farmed for our own profit, or gardens to be trimmed to our own taste.”
I heard recently that a presidential candidate was quoted as saying that if elected, he would take away the tax-exempt status of every church that speaks against blatant sin outlined in the Bible. I am not sure that is such a bad idea! If our tax-exempt status were stripped away, maybe we, as disciples of Jesus, would view our offerings as true worship to the Lord and not merely a tax write-off. Maybe our ministers, the pastors, and leaders would stop worrying about creating our own compounds and buildings to our liking and focus on building to the needs of the Lord and His people. Maybe we would build like Moses, “just as the Lord commanded.” It could be that we would get back to the pure heart of service.
Like Moses with Aaron and his sons, our Creator willingly came down from His throne and washed the feet of the disciples. When we repent and accept Jesus as our Savior, He cleanses us and puts on us new garments (Isaiah 61:10). It is only then that we are anointed for service. We become ministers to Him and others that His name might be lifted up, not the kingdom’s that we want to build. Put on the garments of service God and to others today. That is the way to truly conform to the image of Jesus Christ!
“I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.”
– Isaiah 61:10