Preparing Aaron and His Sons for Service (Exodus 29)
In order to be placed in the service of God's tabernacle, there needed to be specific duties carried out that would prepare and purify Aaron and his sons. Aaron and his sons were consecrated (purified) and sanctified (set apart for a special purpose) before God. The priests officiated at the earthly altar of the Creator God of the universe. They were to carry out their duties with a sense of awe, because of His holiness (Psalm 99:9). They were not to be careless in any way. To violate what might have been viewed as minor details in their duties could have resulted in death. God is holy and He must be obeyed and worshiped according to His will. As The Nelson Study Bible notes on Exodus 28:43: "It is difficult for us to grasp the gravity of the priests' responsibility as they ministered before the living God. They had to serve God with a pure heart, to represent the people without guile, and to worship without deviating from the commands of God. To fail would invite judgmenteven death. Sadly, priests did die because they failed to show respect for the holiness of God (Leviticus 10:1, 2; 1 Samuel 4:17; 2 Samuel 6:7). Of course, these are major issues with which we must all be concerned. In light of the fact that, as mentioned before, God refers to His people today as "a holy priesthood" and even "a royal priesthood" (1 Peter 2:5, 9), we should consider such passages very soberly. Still, God is a God of grace. If we slip up and sin, the answer is to repent and go to Him for forgiveness and restoration, trusting in His kindness and mercy.