For Glory and For Beauty

Over the years I’ve come to love the later chapters of the book of Exodus. I used to think them mundane and boring, all the details for the building of the tabernacle and its furnishings. But now I see in it all the beauty I think the Lord intended—and I mean that literally! 

Do you realize that the priestly garments were made “for glory and for beauty”? It says so in Exodus 28:2. And when you really read it, picture the things described, both the clothing and the furnishings, you realize what things of glory and beauty they were intended to be. 

But for me, the beauty of these chapters does not end with the aesthetics. It extends to the actual work itself, and the people involved in it. Everyone had a unique part to play. Some gave to the work, whether gold or silver or bronze or acacia wood or spices for incense or oil or precious stones. Some gave fabric already made or skins in their possession. Some women spun material specifically for the project.  

Once all the materials were in place, two men were specified to take charge of implementing God’s instructions, men skilled in all areas of the work needed. Can you imagine? These were the guys that, as children and teens, people probably hated because they were good at everything! They could do it all! And that was for a reason. 

Others helped with the woodworking, with the gold overlays, with the engravings on gold and precious stones. Some helped with the sewing or the putting it all together. Some gave the ingredients and baked the bread. When everything was finished, the whole thing had to be set up, which was in no way a one-man job! Then, of course, Moses anointed it all and Aaron and his sons performed the services before the Lord. 

I love that the place of God’s dwelling wasn’t the work of one man, or even one group. It was everyone doing what the Lord had given them to do. For glory and for beauty—both the place and the process.

5 comments on “For Glory and For Beauty

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  2. Interesting this verse would pop out at you. I was reading that passage a few weeks back and stopped there too, saying to Dawn, “Hey, listen to this…” Are you doing the Bible reading through the year, or did you just stumble upon that verse?
    The thing that stood out to me in this part of Exodus is the length of God’s monologue here. He spends the majority of his facetime there with Moses you might say ‘safeguarding His glory’ with all the intricate instructions on building the tabernacle, observing feasts, and making sure the priests approach Him properly in every facet. Where else do we find in the entire Bible such an extensive monologue from the Lord, and only a small part is ‘spent’ on anything that we might call a ‘moral code’. It continues on with the offerings and sacrifices in the book of Leviticus. God is definitely into “FORM”. Glad that veil has been rent… still, there’s much to learn from it about the character of God.

  3. The other thing that struck me when I read this recently (and listened to this passage this very morning again!) was the overflow the people brought. Moses had to stop them. Everyone wanted to participate in this glorious and beautiful thing.

  4. This is a great insight, D’Ann. I love the emphasis on the fact that it wasn’t about the one “holy” family doing the work and getting a pat on the back by the rest of the congregation. Truly everyone had a part! Thanks,

    Robin

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