Exodus 29-30

Sunday Evening Bible Study

 May 18, 1997


Moses has been on Mount Sinai for almost forty days now, receiving detailed instructions on the Law as well as being given instructions as to the construction of the Tabernacle.

The Tabernacle was a portable worship center, designed for portability in the desert, as well as being a full model of heaven, to teach Israel how God was to be worshipped.

We've seen the design of the Ark of the Covenant, the table of showbread, the golden candlestick, the tent itself, the bronze altar in the courtyard, and the courtyard itself.

We've also looked at the design of the outfit that the priests were to wear.

Exodus 29

:1 to hallow them, to minister unto me in the priest's office:

We now move into the procedure for ordaining the priests.

We'll see principles involving what it takes for God to work in our lives through ministry.

:4 wash them with water


Principles for ministry: Take a bath!

Yes, sometimes we are a little stinky, and need to take a bath.

I see this working spiritually like this:

(Eph 5:25-27 KJV) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; {26} That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, {27} That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

Jesus washes us with the water of His Word.

We need to be people who are constantly having our minds and hearts washed by God's Word.

Don't think you've spent too much time in it! Keep the bath water running!

:5 take the garments


Principle for ministry: Get dressed!

This is specifically referring to the special priest's clothing back in Exodus 28.

A couple of ideas stick out about these clothes:

1) They had a little bit of heaven in them.

Remember how they were made of the same colors as the inside of the tabernacle, which was a model of heaven.

They even contained the same precious stones that are going to be in the foundations of the New Jerusalem.

A person useful in ministry must have his mind on heavenly things.

(Col 3:1-2 KJV) If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. {2} Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.

I'm not sure it's possible to be too heavenly minded to be any earthly good, but I am sure it's possible to be too earthly minded to be of any heavenly good.

2) The clothes were designed for prayer.

The tribal names were engraved on the shoulder stones and upon the breast piece stones to carry into the holy place, remembering God's people in prayer.

A person of ministry is a person of prayer.

3) They were holy clothes.

Even engraved on the crown were the words, "Holiness to the Lord".

They were for people who had set themselves apart for God's use.

God can certainly use sinful people, He does all the time.

But when we turn from sinful practices, we will find that God is able to use us in an even greater measure.

(2 Tim 2:21 KJV) If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

:7 thou take the anointing oil, and pour it upon his head, and anoint him.


Principle for ministry: Covered with oil.

We know that the oil was a symbol of the Holy Spirit.

This oil wasn't just "dabbed" on the guy's head, it was poured out on his head.

Just as the Lord wants the Holy Spirit to be "poured out upon" us, empowering us for ministry.

We've been looking at this in depth on Sunday Mornings.

:14 it is a sin offering

The procedure we've just seen described is what is known as a "sin offering".

The person puts their hands on the animal's head, and in a sense their sins become placed on the animal.

Then the animal is killed, taking the place of the person, having it's own blood spilled to pay for the sins of the individual.


Principle for ministry: The debt is paid.

Jesus is our "once-for-all" sin offering.

He's paid the price for our sin.

I think that for God to use us effectively in ministry, we need to be people who understand that Jesus has paid that price.

It's not just that we've asked Jesus to be our Savior once a long time ago, but that we are people who daily know what it's like to have our sins cleansed and forgiven.

We need to be passed the place where we live in daily guilt and condemnation.

(1 John 1:9 KJV) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

:18 it is a burnt offering

The principle of a burnt offering went beyond just payment for sins committed, it involved the total consecration of the person to God.

In the sin offering, the chief part was the spilling of the blood.

Some parts were burnt on the altar, giving them to God, others were taken outside the camp because of their filth.

But some of the meat was cooked and eaten by the priests.

With the burnt offering, the entire animal was burnt on the altar, the entire animal being given over to God.

But the animal in fact represented the worshipper, since they had laid their hands on the animal.


Principle for ministry: Completely given to God.

God's desire is that our entire life be given over to Him.

Not just a portion that's convenient on Sundays.

He wants the part that we live at home, the part that we live at work, the WHOLE THING!!

:20 upon the tip of the right ear ,,,

Three areas were to be touched by this blood, indicating their cleansing and their dedication to God:

Right ear - that all we hear and think might be cleansed and dedicated to God.

Right thumb - that all we do might be cleansed and consecrated.

Right big toe - every where we go might be cleansed and consecrated.

:24 a wave offering

Ryrie: In a wave offering, the breast of the animal was waved or moved back and forth, toward and away from the altar, as a symbol of presenting the offering to God and of His returning it to the priest.

:35 seven days shlt thou consecrate them

Ordination didn't happen overnight.

It takes time to be established in the ministry.

Paul wrote:

(1 Tim 5:22 KJV) Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.

He was saying that we shouldn't put folks into important ministries without having spent some time with them to see if their lives are genuine, or if they are just hiding certain sins.

:42 a continual burnt offering

This is part of what their ministry was all about, daily burnt offerings, once in the morning, once in the evening.

Daily consecration to God, daily commitment to God.

I remember the big change that happened in my life when I realized that God wanted more of me than just a few hours on Sunday, but He wanted all of me (24/7), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

:42 where I will meet you, to speak there unto thee

I think it's interesting that God speaking to the people is in the context of this priestly ordination, of being consecrated to God on a daily basis.

:46 they shall know that I am the LORD their God


Principles in Ministry: Proper ministry connects people to God.

Proper ministry leaves people in a place where they KNOW that Jesus is their God.

The goal of ministry is always getting people connected with God.

It's not about healing past wounds, fixing dysfunction or getting people away from their bad habits or addictions.

It's about meeting God.

Then everything flows from that.

Exodus 30

:1 an altar to burn incense upon

As we've seen, this is the place of prayer inside the tabernacle.

:6 put it before the vail

There is a little disagreement as to the exact position of the golden altar.

Some scriptures seem to put it in the holy place (Exodus 30:6; 40:21-28), some seem to put it in the holy of holies (Heb 9:1-7; Exo 40:5; 1Ki. 6:22).

I tend to see it in the holy place, since it must be accessed daily, and the holy of holies was only accessed once a year.

It is possible that maybe the priest put the incense on the altar by reaching into the holy of holies, but I don't think so.

:8 perpetual incense

Do you get the idea that prayer is important to the Lord.

He wants the priests to be burning incense in the morning and in the evening!

We can't spend too much time praying.

1TH 5:17 pray without ceasing;

Does God tire of your prayers? No.

:9 no strange incense

Strange in the sense of something that God has not asked you to do. It was not made according to the instructions in vs.34-38.

Types of "strange incense":

1. Prayer with an awareness of people rather than God.

(Mat 6:5-6 KJV) And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. {6} But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

2. Meaningless words.

Mat 6:7-8 "And when you are praying, do not use meaningless repetition, as the Gentiles do, for they suppose that they will be heard for their many words. 8 "Therefore do not be like them; for your Father knows what you need, before you ask Him.

I think of how people learn and memorize prayers (or, "mantras"), rather than learning to pray as God's Spirit prompts their hearts.

Also, there are times when we spend so much time "filling God in" with all these details, when in reality, He knows more about the situation than we do. Get to your requests, you don't need to tell God what He already knows.

:12 ransom

The money was to help maintain the tabernacle and its services. This tax was considered a ransom because its payment guaranteed protection from plagues, somehow.

:13 half a shekel

About $64.00 per person, whether rich or poor, all were to pay. The "gerah" was a Babylonian weight. Later this became the basis for the "temple tax" (Neh.10:32), one third of a shekel. In Jesus' time, it was given annually (Matt.17:24).

:21 they shall wash their hands and their feet

As the priests would enter the courtyard, they had to pass by the laver, a big wash tub made of bronze.

There they were to wash their hands and feet before their ministry.

Washing often signifies the cleansing of the Word of God.

As we've already mentioned:

Eph 5:26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word

The Laver as an element of Worship

Somewhere, cleansing ought to be included in our worship, either as preparation, or as part of the worship itself. See Is.6.

:22-33 Anointing Oil

As we've seen before, the oil represents the Holy Spirit in the Scriptures (1Sam.16:13; 1Jo.2:27).

Lessons on the anointing oil:

1. There is a beautiful fragrance about the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever noticed how there's a distinctive "smell" down at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa? Is it someone's perfume, or is it the Holy Spirit?

Just like perfume, when the Spirit of God is on your life, there is a lingering "presence", a separate sense that something is on your life.

There is something about us as Christians, how we give off a "fragrance" to those around us.

2CO 2:14-16 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in His triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. 15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

    1. Everything in ministry is to be anointed by the Spirit. (tent, ark, table )

There is nothing we do in ministry that is not to be led by the Spirit of God.

JOH 4:24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."

3. Don't try to imitate the work of the Spirit. (vs.33)

It's not uncommon for people to see what the Spirit is doing, and to try to conjure up some way of packaging it, and duplicating it in some way.

In Acts 8, a magician named Simon saw what happened when Peter and John laid hands on people and they were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was bestowed through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, 19 saying, "Give this authority to me as well, so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." 20 But Peter said to him, "May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 "You have no part or portion in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.

Emotional speaking, voice control, gestures, facial expressions... Emotional music, soft organ music while the pastor is praying, rising to a climax, etc....

4. The Spirit isn't for unbelievers vs.33 - "whoever puts any of it on a layman..."

The "layman" was a person who wasn't a priest.

The New Testament says that all believers are now priests (Rev.1:6; 1Pet.2:9)

So, the "layman" would have to apply to a non-believer.

ROM 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

The Holy Spirit will draw and convict non-believers (John 16:8), but He does not dwell inside them.

:34-38 Incense

Lessons in incense:

1. Use the recipe. "take for yourself spices..."

We ought to pray as the Scriptures teach us how to pray, according to the proper proportions prescribed.

(Mat 6:9 KJV) After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Another simplified recipe: ACTS. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication.

2. The beauty of prayer. "the work of a perfumer".

When prayer contains the proper ingredients, it is as a beautiful fragrance.

When the wrong ingredients are contained, it stinks.

3. Don't misuse prayer. "You shall not make for yourselves"

I think the idea here is using the incense to make yourself smell better, probably to impress people.

People use "imitation prayers" to impress people, like the Pharisees -

Mar. 12:40 who devour widows' houses, and for appearance's sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation. "

Prayer is to be directed towards God, to impress Him, not the people around us.


During a blistering hot day, a family was entertaining guests for dinner. When all were seated, the man of the house turned to his six-year-old son and asked him to say the blessing. "But daddy, I don't know what to say," he protested. "Oh, just say what you've heard me say," the mother chimed in. Obediently, he bowed his little head and said, "Oh, Lord, why did I invite these people here on a hot day like this!"