“And these are the garments which they shall make: a breastplate, an ephod, a robe, a skillfully woven tunic, a turban, and a sash. So they shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother and his sons, that he may minister to Me as priest.” Exodus 28:4
Here in the United States, where I live, there’s a group of people that live and dress differently from everyone else, called the Amish. Centuries ago the ancestors of the present day Amish chose to follow the teachings of Jakob Ammann which led to them to embrace a very simple lifestyle in the way they live, and dress, and adopt modern conveniences. The name “Amish” was originally a derogatory term and many of the Amish prefer to think of themselves as “simple” people.
When God was setting up the sanctuary and giving directions for those that would minister to him he gave specific instructions for the clothing to be worn by the priests and the high priest.
When the priests served in the sanctuary they were to wear a simple tunic of white linen. This was the most humble of garments, typically worn by the most menial of servants and slaves. They wore this simplicity of dress because in their ministrations in the tabernacle they represented the sinful people coming in humility to worship God and confess their sinfulness before him.
The High Priest dressed differently from the common priests. His dress was very costly, colorful and ornate, much like the dress of a king when compared to that of the common person. The reasons for the High Priest’s beautiful and expensive dress were two fold. The first, and most obvious, reason was that the High Priest represented the majesty and glory of God to the people and only kingly apparel could fulfill this representation. The second reason was that the garments of the High Priest were a miniature portrayal of the house of God in the form of clothing and once again only kingly apparel could fulfill this objective.
The apostle Peter, in his first epistle, tells us that God is calling Christians to minister for him in this world as a kingdom of priests. The apostle Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, tells us that Christ himself serves as the High Priest of our cohort of priests. Because we stand as common priests, those that represent the sinner to God, then our lives and our dress ought to be marked by humbleness and simplicity.
I’m not advocating that we adopt lifestyles like that of the Amish but perhaps it would be good to remember that or lives are to be lives that give glory to God and not to get it for ourselves. And when I compare what I’ve done to all that God has done in creating the universe and saving us I’m compelled to repeat the closing words of the Lord’s Prayer, “thine is the power, the glory, and the dominion forever. Amen.”