Aaron’s orientation takes seven days. Then, for every day after and for the rest of his life, he is to sacrifice two lambs…one in the morning and one in the evening.
So I have a couple questions. First of all, why seven days?
We live in a fast-paced world, with an insta-everything mindset. If something takes longer than five minutes it’s probably lost our attention. I mean, it seems God could have simply given Aaron his finished garments and sent him on his way.
And another question: Why require such elaborate, time-consuming, and messy daily sacrifice? Who has time for that?
Can you imagine? By the time they clean up the mess from the morning sacrifice, it is time to start the twilight one. And to what end?
Here’s the thing, while Exodus Twenty Nine raises questions…it also provides answers that are just as relevant today as they were when Aaron lived.
Why a seven day ordination? Because it takes time for God to prepare our hearts for our calling. Before we can accomplish anything of value, he has to work in us to will and act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13)
It’s easy to jump in spontaneously – as soon as “I’m ready.” And then, when things don’t go as planned, I stomp my foot in impatience, wondering what in the world God is waiting for, rather than slowing my heart down enough to recognize that God needs me to be deliberately and tediously prepared. So why seven days? Because having the facts and being willing, are entirely different than being truly ready.
Now, about those elaborate, time-consuming, and messy sacrifices. I’ve learned – as a middle school teacher – that quality work is never produced without thorough and repeated instruction. Perhaps one day I will be able to write directions on the board and then sit at my desk while students follow them (Aw, the glorious thought!)…but I doubt it. Is it because my students are dumb? Absolutely not! It’s because they do their best work when they understand exactly what they’re expected to do and the value in doing it.
Aaron and the Israelites are no different. And neither are we. God instructed the priests to follow specific and laborious procedures as a constant reminder that he is the Lord their God, who brought them out of Egypt and that he desires to dwell among them…to be part of their daily lives. (vs.46)
If God could write directions on the board – telling us that he is God and how to live – and then leave us alone to do it – there would be little quality work and absolutely no need for his Holy Spirit. We are only able to do quality work, live lives of value and experience God’s presence – when we routinely sacrifice our busy schedules in order to receive instruction from his Word and talk to him in prayer. Living a joyful, God-honoring life isn’t a one-and-done situation. It requires daily sacrifice and daily drawing-near.
Thank you Jesus, for reminding me that making time for you and your Word is paramount to any other task on my to-do list. And that being truly ready for that which you call me to requires patience. It may seem messy and take longer than I want it to, but I can be sure that it is perfect in your eyes…and that the wait will be worth it.