Exodus 39:1-43

Daybreak for Students

Exodus 39:1-43

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK
Exodus 39
Thus was all the work of the tabernacle of the tent of the congregation finished: and the children of Israel did according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so did they. — Exodus 39:32

My daughter’s wedding dress was complete. As I stood back and admired it, I was proud of my accomplishment! Much effort and many hours of labor had gone into the dress. The intricate handiwork had not been an inconvenience but a joy to do for her. It was so rewarding when she constantly expressed appreciation for the work I had done.

A sense of well-being and satisfaction usually goes along with completing a detailed or labor-intensive project. That must have been the way the Children of Israel felt when they finished the work God had given them. Today’s text clearly describes how they paid close attention to detail while making the special garments for the priests. No doubt there was a real sense of accomplishment as they surveyed the completed apparel. The work had been done just as God had commanded.

We may wonder why these efforts are noted in such detail in the Bible. Perhaps it is to help us understand that God noticed how diligent they were in obeying the instructions He had given. Are we as attentive to detail in our relationship with Him as these people were in following His directions? 

At times in our spiritual journey we may face difficult situations. Perhaps we will be given a task that is detailed or arduous, or something that we’d simply rather not do. If we look to God, He will give us His grace and strength. As we become busy with the task at hand, He will help us successfully bring it to completion. He notices when we are diligent in our obedience. 

Perhaps we feel God has not given us a specific assignment that includes many details. However, our spiritual walk before Him is exactly that. As we follow His Word and the leadings of the Holy Spirit, we will receive His instructions on how to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. 

There are rewards for paying close attention to detail in spiritual matters. The Children of Israel were rewarded by God’s presence dwelling among them, and we too will be rewarded by God’s presence with us if we carefully obey Him. The result will be the personal satisfaction of a job well done, and also the blessing of the Lord.

BACKGROUND

This chapter tells how the priests’ garments were prepared exactly as God had instructed Moses, and concludes by recounting how Moses inspected all the Tabernacle’s parts and furnishings.

Verses 1-31 give details regarding the workmanship of the attire of the priests. The fact that the phrase “as the Lord commanded Moses” is repeated seven times shows that particular attention was given to making the garments exactly as God had instructed (see Exodus 28:1-43). 

The method for making the gold thread for the ephod and the breastplate is described. The gold was beaten into thin plates, which were then cut into wires. It is thought that one thread of gold wire was twisted with six threads of a color, and this twisted strand was used like a single thread. This was done with the blue, purple, scarlet, and linen yarn, so four threads of gold were woven throughout. 

Costly materials were incorporated into this elegant robe. The names of the tribes of Israel were inscribed upon stones as part of the ephod, and thus the priest bore the people on his heart as he entered into the Tabernacle. The hem of the robe had alternating pomegranates and bells. As the priest moved about to accomplish his duties in the Tabernacle, the people outside could hear the bells and knew the priest was going before God on their behalf.

The coats, the mitre, the goodly bonnets, and the breeches for all the priests were made of fine twined linen. 

The completed items were brought to Moses for his review (verses 32-43). God had given him the instructions, so he was qualified to inspect. Constructing the Tabernacle with all the necessary parts and furnishings is thought to have taken about six or seven months. Those entrusted with the work had been diligent, and Moses was satisfied that they had accomplished every detail properly (verses 42 and 43). 

AMPLIFIED OUTLINE

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
V.   The construction of the Tabernacle
     D.   The construction of the building
           1.   The Tabernacle assembled
                 b.   The making of the parts
                       (15)   The priestly garments (39:1-31)
                                 (a)   Summary (39:1)
                                 (b)   The ephod (39:2-7)
                                 (c)   The breastplate (39:8-21)
                                 (d)   The robe (39:22-26)
                                 (e)   The tunics, turban, breeches, and sashes (39:27-29)
                                 (f)   The plate of the holy crown (39:30-31)
                       (16)   The work concluded (39:32-43)

A CLOSER LOOK

  1. What did the engraving on the mitre say?

  2. What do you think motivated these workmen to be so careful?

  3. What are some rewards for obedience to God?

CONCLUSION

Doing a job well brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. How much more this is the case when it is a task for the Lord.