Devotionals by Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

“Your brother, Aaron, and his sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, will be set apart from the common people. They will be my priests and will minister to me. Make special clothing for Aaron to show his separation to God— beautiful garments that will lend dignity to his work.” - Exodus 28:1-2

All dressed up and nowhere to go” was William Allen White’s sardonic comment on the demise of the Progressive Party when, in 1916, Theodore Roosevelt withdrew from the presidential campaign. Cinderella, of course, had the opposite problem—all ready to go and nothing to wear.

The high priest of Israel had neither problem, because he was given strict and detailed instructions about the clothing he was required to wear whenever he went about his priestly duties. The priests were “set apart from the common people” and their task was to minister to the Lord (Exod. 28:1). The “special clothing” made for Aaron, the high priest, was designed “to show his separation to God—beautiful garments that will lend dignity to his work” (28:2). There was to be no mistake about Aaron’s identity or the dignity of his office. He was God’s man, and his appearance and deportment were to reflect his unique status as the one who represented man to God and God to man. The common man, on seeing the resplendent high priest, would immediately recognize something of the grandeur of the Lord he served.

The ephod (28:6) and the chestpiece (28:15) both bore precious gemstones on which were engraved the names of the twelve tribes of Israel. As the high priest, specially dressed for the occasion, entered the presence of the Lord in the Most Holy Place, the Lord was “reminded” (28:29) of his people. Inside the chestpiece were placed two mysterious objects called Urim and Thummim that were “used to determine the Lord’s will for his people” (28:30).

In actuality, the Lord did not need to be reminded of the needs of his people—he was present among them as they traveled through the wilderness—but the ornamental stones served as a reminder to Aaron, as he dressed, that the Lord was not forgetful of his people. And as Aaron appeared before the Lord, symbolically bearing the weight of the people on his shoulders and over his heart, he was taking this burden to the Lord. As the Urim and Thummim were brought into play, there was a powerful statement of dependency upon the Lord and desire to know and do his will.

Aaron was all dressed up and he had somewhere to go—and something special to do! So do all modern people who profess the name of Christ. They represent him by their deportment and behavior. They bring before the Lord the names of those in need and they constantly seek his guidance as they minister to others. Such activities will serve to “lend dignity to their work” (28:1).

For Further Study: >Exodus 28:1 - 30  

Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Men, Copyright ©2000 by Stuart Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

For more from Stuart Briscoe, please visit tellingthetruth.org.

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June 2018
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About Telling the Truth

Telling the Truth exists to make available sound biblical teaching, practically applied, with a view to producing lives that glorify God and draw people to Christ. The whole of our ministry is to encourage, console, strengthen, teach, and train.

About Stuart, Jill & Pete Briscoe

Stuart Briscoe uses wit and intellect to target your heart, capture your attention and challenge you to grow! You will find his logic compelling as he brings a fresh, practical perspective to the Scriptures. Born in England, Stuart left a career in banking to enter the ministry full time. He has written more than 50 books, received three honorary doctorates and preached in more than one hundred countries. He was senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for thirty years, and currently serves as minister-at-large.

Jill Briscoe was born in England and found Christ when she was 18 years old. She never looked back. Upon graduating from Cambridge University, she began working as a teacher by day and had a vigorous street ministry to the youths of Liverpool by night.

She met Stuart at a youth conference and they married in 1958. In the 50 years since, Jill has become a highly sought-after Bible teacher and author who travels around the world ministering to under-resourced churches and speaking at international seminars and conferences. Since 2000, she and Stuart, who was formerly senior pastor of Elmbrook Church for 30 years, have had the joy of equipping and encouraging believers across the globe in their roles as ministers-at-large for Elmbrook.

Jill has authored more than 40 books including devotionals, study guides, poetry and children's books. Her vivid, relational teaching style touches the emotions and stirs the heart. She serves as Executive Editor of Just Between Us, a magazine of encouragement for ministry wives and women in leadership, and served on the board of World Relief and Christianity Today, Inc., for over 20 years.

Jill and Stuart call suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin their home. When they are not traveling, they spend time with their three children, David, Judy and Peter, and thirteen grandchildren.

Pete Briscoe, youngest son of Stuart and Jill, was also born in England but grew up under his father's ministry in Milwaukee. While getting his Masters of Divinity degree at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL, Pete had a professor tell him that it was "a sin to bore people with the Bible." He has taken that to heart as he has served since 1992 as senior pastor of Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Dallas, TX. Pete and his wife, Libby, have three children.

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