In the book of Exodus there is a long section that describes the construction of the tabernacle and the holy garments of the priests and their consecration and such. Exodus 28:41 reads “After you (Moses) put these clothes on your brother Aaron and his sons, anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they may serve me as priests.”
D.A. Caron in his commentary1 notes that the hebrew word here for ordain is not ordination in the modern sense of the word, but rather the filling up, or the supplying of their needs. Literally the word phrase means, “you will fill their hands.” The subsequent chapter describes short term how that plays out with the sacrifice itself describes becomes the food for the priests and thus the Lord is providing for their needs.
This got me thinking, because later on the the OT we find that it is the Levitical Priesthood who’s needs are provided for by the tithing of the Israelite nation. Their job was simply to administer that sacrifices and to care for the tabernacle (A kind of OT church building). For me personally, as I inch closer to ministry I am praying for God’s supplication of all or our needs. Right here in this verse I get to see how he did that thousands of years ago…and I’m comforted.
The reality is with the coming of Christ, all Christians have become priests (1 Pet 2:5-9) and therefore all Christians are ‘ordained.’ Or to take Carson’s interoperation, all Christians needs are provided for. What this means is as Christians we don’t have to focus on our daily supplication, what we will eat or what we will drink (Matt 6:1-33) but we can focus on the Gospel and on Jesus and use all of our energy to introduce people to Him and his great provision.
He has provided himself as the sacrifice for our sins and has provided the Holy Spirit to guide, instruct, convict, transform and empower us.
We don’t need to worry about our practical needs, God will provide for those, he knows what we need. But we are invited to put him first, to serve and love Him and to seek the lost. What freedom! What glorious news! We can be all about Him because he has promised to provide for us and that he will never leave us. Thank you Jesus for this vivid Old Testament example of your generosity and grace!
1New Bible Commentary: 21st Century Edition. Efdited by Carson, D. A., R. T. France, J. A. Motyer and G. J. Wenham. 4th ed. Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994.