Oh, be Careful, Little Ears, Thumbs, and Toes

June 29, 2015 at 3:43 pm | Posted in Exodus | 6 Comments
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The framework of the Tabernacle was built with acacia wood, which is strong, pliable, and abundant in the region where the Israelites were encamped. Acacia wood was also used in the furnishings for the Tabernacle, some of which would then be covered with gold, although some of the furnishings were actually made of solid gold.

The inside coverings of the Tabernacle were linen, woven, and thicker and coarser toward the outside. Goat hides with the fur still attached were used for one layer. The metals and materials that were used went from being more precious on the inside of the Tabernacle – closer to the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies – to less precious as the construction moved further toward the outside.

The altar that would be used for the burnt offerings was similar to what we would think of as a big grill. There was also a laver for washing.

All the people who were allowed to worship would be allowed in the courtyard. Only priests could go into the Holy Place, although this area was visible from the outside.

There was the Table of the Bread of the Presence, which symbolized God’s fellowship with His people. In ancient customs – especially between the parties of a covenant – the eating of a meal together signified honor, respect, and trust. There was a lampstand for light, and to represent God’s light in the world. There was the altar of incense, by which the people were reminded of the need to live lives that smelled pleasing to God.

Only the High Priest could go into the Most Holy Place where the Ark was. No one else could even see inside there. The Ark was wrapped for moving, and carried by poles inserted through rings, because it was holy, but also to keep it from being damaged or worn.

In Exodus Chapter 29 we can read about the ordination or installation of the priests. They had special washing rituals, which symbolized washing off the world. They had special clothing so that they could be visually recognized as dedicated unto God. They performed special sacrifices to remind them that the external things they were doing were only symbols, and that the real focus was on God.

And thou shalt take the other ram; and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands upon the head of the ram. Then shalt thou kill the ram, and take of his blood, and put it upon the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and upon the tip of the right ear of his sons, and upon the thumb of their right hand, and upon the great toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood upon the altar round about.

Exodus 29:19-20

They received symbols of special consecration upon their:
-Ears, to remind them of the importance of what they would hear – the Word of God and the petitions of the people;
-Thumbs, to remind them of what they were to do with their hands – pick up the burdens of God’s people and minister to Him in symbolic sacrifices;
-Toes, to remind them of where they were to go – into and among God’s people, and into the Tabernacle.

Just like New Testament believers, they were called to present their bodies as living sacrifices. If we fail to surrender our bodies to the Lord, it will do us no good to plead the excuse that God looks upon the heart and isn’t concerned with our outward actions, because our outward actions are the best indication of what’s really going on in our hearts. God wants both – the inward and the outward. Those of us who are Christian fathers and husbands especially need to be careful about what we listen to, what we pick up, and where our feet go.

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  1. […] consecration ceremony for the Levitical priests lasted seven […]

  2. […] through him and the other Levitical priests, but, in another sense, the Law required that a wall of separation be maintained between the priests and the common people. As New Testament believers we can go […]

  3. […] would have been, “If we keep drawing closer and closer, we’re going to wind up in the Holy of Holies – that’s as close as you can get – AND WE CAN’T GO IN […]

  4. […] of the commandments and instructions concerning construction of the Tabernacle and its furnishings that had been stated before, and the account of their […]

  5. […] For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. […]

  6. […] 44. Restriction and Freedom in Worship (Exodus 24-25) 45. Worship Is about Sacrifice (Exodus 26-28) 46. Oh be Careful, Little Ears, Thumbs, and Toes (Exodus 29) 47. The True Consecration (Exodus 29-31) 48. Why We Can, and Cannot, Have Nice Things […]


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