If the laws for the children of Israel seemed strict, the laws for the priest were even more so. When it
came to the priest’s attitude, word, dress or action, nothing but the best was accepted. In fact, if any of
the priest’s descendants had any blemishes at all, which included anything from a crooked back or flat
nose, they were not to come near the holy place to make offerings.
The high priest carried the most solemn responsibility. When someone died, it was customary for
the Jews to tear their robes in grief. However this practice was not allowed for the high priest. He
represented Jesus Christ, and was to wear garments that were whole, clean, and without spot or
blemish, just as Christ is without blemish. The high priest who dared to appear before God with torn
robes indicated that he had cut himself off from God. This gives great significance to the incident during
Christ’s trial when the High priest cried “blasphemy” and tore his robes at the claims of Christ (Matt
26:65). At that moment, the Jewish nation had severed its ties with God, and later this was evident
when God sent an angel to tear the Sanctuary veil in two, exposing the most holy place. (Matt 27:51).
This chapter gives a solemn picture of the sacred responsibility that “leaders in the house of God” hold.
As shepherds of the flock and examples to the people, it’s even more vital that they be seeking purity of
heart, for they touch the sacred things of God! At the time of the end, those who have not taught their
congregations the truth will bear the responsibility for the sins. In Ezekiel’s day, an angel was to begin
at the house of God, destroying first those spiritual leaders that had been unfaithful. (Ezek 9:6). And so
it will be in the final Day of Judgment, for judgment always begins at the house of God.
Let’s pray that God would show us how to hold up the arms of those in spiritual leadership (not through
criticism, but through prayer and through our own transformation of heart). We may need revival in
the house of God, but let the revival start in our own heart.
Melodious Echo Mason
Director of Programming, ARME Bible Camp Ministries