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REFLECTIONS. After the short space of four or five months, we find this mystical tabernacle fully completed. It was a portable and temporary habitation of the most high God, and a figure of his true church in her pilgrimage to a better world.
The several parts of the sanctuary are here repeated, says Mr. Ainsworth, to show that every thing was made after the model exhibited on the mount, and according to the divine command. God who alone saw the future glory of his church, and knew how he would be approached by Jesus Christ, must be his own architect. Hence in this sacred pavilion, we have the glory of the church and kingdom of God presignified to the ancient world.
The dress of Aaron seemed as though it had collected the most tasteful of patriarchal propriety, or borrowed the plumage of the most beautiful birds. His mitre, or bonnet, inscribed with Holiness to the Lord, marked the dignity of his office, as crowned with glory and righteousness. The whiteness of his raiment, decorated with lace of blue; the ephod or sash of blue curiously flowered with gold; the fringe, the pomegranates, and the bells pendent to his robe, gave it a splendid termination, and announced his approach with pardon and peace to Israel. Above all, the breastplate of judgment, so called because God gave the answers to enquiries by Urim and Thummim. Numbers 27:21. The breastplate, whose precious stones reflected the light of the sun with all the tints of the prism or rainbow, gave a lustre to his sacred person becoming the majesty of his high service, and made him a glorious figure of Jesus Christ, in whom are concentrated the perfection of beauty, and all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
All this splendour was not given for vain parade, but for the most serious and arduous service of the sanctuary. The highpriest was to make atonement for the sins of the people; he was to love them, to pray for them, to enforce discipline, and to publish by his life and doctrine, the laws and righteousness of the Most High. Let us, while we revere his character, see in his person the glory of our Redeemer, and in the superior glory of his priesthood, the real object of all the shadows, and the captivating grandeur of the ritual law. When the workmen had given an astonishing finish to the several parts of all their work, Moses revised the whole; and on finding it done according to the Lord’s command, he rewarded them with his approbation and blessing. It does not appear that they asked or coveted any greater reward. The people gave gifts, and the artists gave labour; all were happy and content; and when the Lord Jesus shall come to take account of his servants’ work; if it shall be found that our poor services have been done according to his commands, and in his spirit; if he shall say, well done good and faithful servants; if he shall add, come ye blessed children of my Father, the reward is infinite, and the glory ineffable. We shall all be kings and priests unto God, and dwell in his house for ever.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Exodus 39". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent