Ordained to Serve: A Prepared Heart for Worship (Exodus 29; Exodus 30)

Heart of a Shepherd

Mar 28, 2023



Ordinati per servire: un cuore preparato per l'adorazione (Esodo 29; Esodo 30)


Ordenado para Servir: Um Coração Preparado para Adoração (Êxodo 29; Êxodo 30)


Zum Dienen ordiniert: Ein bereites Herz für die Anbetung (Exodus 29; Exodus 30)


خدمت کے لیے مقرر: عبادت کے لیے تیار دل (خروج 29؛ خروج 30)


Ordenados para servir: un corazón preparado para la adoración (Éxodo 29; Éxodo 30)


Ordonné pour servir : un cœur préparé pour le culte (Exode 29 ; Exode 30)


Предназначен для служения: готовое сердце для поклонения (Исход 29; Исход 30)

Ordained to Serve: A Prepared Heart for Worship (Exodus 29; Exodus 30)

Scripture reading - Exodus 29-30

Today’s Scripture reading, Exodus 29-30 finds Moses and Joshua on Mount Sinai, where they continued “forty days and forty nights” (Exodus 24:18). The LORD instructed Moses that he might teach the people and give to them “tables of stone, and a law, and commandments” (Exodus 24:12). He commanded Moses to receive offerings from the people (Exodus 25:1-3) that were to be used in constructing and furnishing the Tabernacle. As the LORD’s sanctuary (Exodus 25:8), the Tabernacle was a visible testimony of God’s presence in the midst of Israel.

The LORD also gave Moses the design and dimensions for the Tabernacle and its furnishings (Exodus 25:9). Those furnishings included the Ark of the Covenant and its Mercy Seat (Exodus 25:10-22), the table, and the candlestick. All were to be overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:23-40). Finally, the interior and exterior of the Tabernacle were described in detail (Exodus 26:1-30), including a room that was divided by a veil (Exodus 26:31-33) and served as the “holy place” in which the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat was to be placed (Exodus 26:33-34).

Central to Israel’s worship was the brass altar (Exodus 27:1-8) in a courtyard that formed an enclosure for the Tabernacle (Exodus 27:9-19). Aaron, the brother of Moses, was appointed to serve as Israel’s first high priest, and his sons served with him as common priests (Exodus 28:1). God also gave Moses a detailed description of the holy garments the high priest would wear when he ministered before the LORD as Israel’s mediator (Exodus 28:2-43).

Exodus 29 – The Priesthood: Ordination and Consecration

Having established the Aaronic priesthood in Exodus 28 the LORD instructed Moses regarding his brother’s ordination to serve as Israel’s high priest (Exodus 29:1-9). One young bull and “two rams without blemish” (Exodus 29:1) were to be sacrificed, consecrating Aaron as the high priest in an ordination ceremony.


Aaron was to wash and put on the high priest's garments (Exodus 29:4-9). Moses then directed Aaron and his sons to put their hands on the bull, thereby identifying with its sacrifice as their sin offering (Exodus 29:10-14). Placing their hands on one ram that was without blemish, Moses was to slay the ram as a burnt offering to the LORD (Exodus 29:15-18). A second ram was then sacrificed, and it served as a “blood ordination,” for its blood was put on “the tip of the right ear of Aaron, and his sons (Exodus 29:19-21), dedicating them to the priesthood. The best parts of the second ram were offered to the LORD, and then Aaron and his sons were to consume the ram at the door of the Tabernacle (Exodus 29:22-34). For each of the seven days, young bulls were to be offered for the sins of the priests and as a testimony of God’s grace in providing a substitute (Exodus 29:35-37).

Twice daily, lambs were sacrificed and offered as a meat offering by fire, one in the morning and one in the evening. These were perpetual offerings to the LORD (Exodus 29:38-42) and a reminder to the people that “without the shedding of blood there is no remission for sin (Hebrews 9:22). Thus, the LORD promised to “dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God. (46) And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, that I may dwell among them: I am the Lord their God” (Exodus 29:45-46).

Exodus 30

Altar of Incense (Exodus 30:1-10)


The LORD instructed Moses to have “an altar to burn incense,” made with wood and overlaid “with pure gold” (Exodus 30:1-5). The altar of incense was located outside the Holy Place and before the veil. There the LORD promised to meet with Moses, Aaron, and the generations that followed him. The aroma of burning incense was perpetual, burning night and day (Exodus 30:6-8). Once a year, the “blood of the sin offering” was to be applied to the corner or horns of the altar of incense and serve as a reminder that only the blood atones for sin (Exodus 30:9-10).


Tabernacle Tax (Exodus 30:11-16)


An annual census was commanded, and a special tribute described as a “ransom” (Exodus 30:12) was required of every Hebrew person twenty years old or older (Exodus 30:12). A failure to believe and obey the LORD could incur a judgment described as a “plague” (Exodus 30:12b).


The rich and poor were required to pay “half a shekel” (Exodus 30:13), reminding us that every soul is of equal value in the sight of God (Exodus 30:14-15). This “ransom” (tax or tribute) was paid for “the service [expenses] of the Tabernacle” (Exodus 30:16). Those expenses would have included purchasing sacrifices, flour, wine, oil, priestly garments, and other costs.


Additionally, a large brass laver, or fount, was to be made and filled with water where the priest would wash their hands and feet before entering the Tabernacle (Exodus 30:17-21).

Holy Oils and Fragrances (Exodus 30:22-38)


A special anointing oil with ingredients and fragrances designed by the LORD was made and used for anointing the Tabernacle, its furniture, the altar, and the priests (Exodus 30:22-31). However, it was a sacred oil and forbidden for other purposes (Exodus 30:32-33). The LORD also required a unique blend of incense and perfume to be made and used before the tabernacle. The fragrance was unique to the Tabernacle and was not to be used elsewhere (Exodus 30:34-38).

Closing thoughts:

What lessons should we take from the attention to detail the Scriptures have preserved for us in Israel’s worship? It is the knowledge that we should prepare our hearts for worshipping the LORD. Worship is not careless and incidental, but purposeful and done in a manner that reflects and speaks of the holiness of the LORD.


Questions to consider:


1) How did Aaron and his sons identify with the bull and ram as sacrifices for their sins? (Exodus 29:10, 19)


2) What was Aaron instructed to do with the high priest's garments when his service ended? (Exodus 29:29-30)


3) What did God promise if the people continued to bring sacrifices to the Tabernacle? (Exodus 29:45-46)


4) What was the purpose of the water basin that God commanded Moses to make? (Exodus 30:17-21)


Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith


* You can subscribe to the Heart of a Shepherd daily devotionals and have them sent directly to your email address. Please enter your email address in the box to the right (if using a computer) or at the bottom (if using a cell phone). You may also email your request to HeartofAShepherdInc@gmail.com.

The Internal Revenue Service recognizes Heart of A Shepherd Inc as a 501c3 public charitable organization.


Mailing Address: Heart of A Shepherd Inc 7853 Gunn Hwy #131 Tampa, FL 33626-1611


You can email HeartofAShepherdInc@gmail.com for more information on this daily devotional ministry.