Garments for Aaron
To describe these garments as ‘holy garments’ was to indicate that they were set apart for the sole use of the high priest in the performance of his role in the presence of God. Although the fact that they were holy was not because of the materials or construction specifically, they were more than the simple priestly garments afforded for priestly work.
They were holy because holiness characterizes the God into whose presence the high priest was to enter in the Tabernacle, Lev. 11. 44-45; 19. 2; 20. 26; 21. 8; 1 Pet. 1. 16. It was essential that the priest was appropriately attired. He could not enter as he wanted but only as God wanted. The donning of ‘holy garments’ outwardly was designed to make the wearer conscious of the inward state of heart necessary for the God into whose presence he was about to enter. To do so foolishly was to court judgement and destruction.
In a similar way we cannot function as priests in the presence of God without being in a fit state of heart – having the righteousness of saints, but also having no unconfessed sin to break the fellowship and communion befitting priestly work.
They were set apart for a distinct use. When Aaron was adorned as the high priest he was visibly set apart for all to see – his separation was real. Leviticus chapter 8 verse 5 tells us that ‘Moses said unto the congregation, “This is the thing which the Lord commanded to be done”’. How important for us to be holy in an external sense as well as in an internal sense. Can others see by our manner of life, and, perhaps, even our dress and demeanour, that we are different?
It is remarkable that these garments should be intended for the family, ‘Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazer and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons’, v. 1. Yet, two members of the family, Nadab and Abihu, would later rebel and perish. In the purposes of God Nadab and Abihu would have succeeded to the position of high priest had it not been for that seed of rebellion in their heart. There is a testimony here to the fact that God’s sovereignty does not override man’s free will – God does not elect men to judgement and condemnation.
[Extracted from Day by Day – Paradise to the Promised Land published by Precious Seed Publications]