[Exo 39:24-26 NASB] “24 They made pomegranates of blue and purple and scarlet [material and] twisted [linen] on the hem of the robe. 25 They also made bells of pure gold, and put the bells between the pomegranates all around on the hem of the robe, 26 alternating a bell and a pomegranate all around on the hem of the robe for the service, just as the LORD had commanded Moses.”
Hems are important.
The hem of any garment is the finished part of the garment. It is usually the last thing done to make the garment a finished product. It can be used without a hem, but it will not look like it was intended and will likely be hindered from its purpose. These are important aspects of hems as it relates to our topic today.Hems were important to God. Moses gave very specific instructions about the hems of the high priest. The hem was to have bells and pomegranates on them in an alternating cycle. Much of the details about the temple and the garments had practical purposes as well as symbolic purposes.
Lessons for us today.
The things that were written in the OT was written for us (Rom. 15:4). It is appropriate to look for the symbolism in the OT to find what applies for us today. We see that much of the garment of the high priest teaches about NT ministry today. But what about the hem? These details have some significance for the NT today.What could the alternating bell and pomegranate mean for us today?
First of all the pomegranate is a fruit. The fruit could point to the necessity of the church operating in the fruit of the Spirit. That is not a stretch to see this parallel in this passage.
How about the bell? It served a practical purpose then but does it serve as a symbolic purpose today? It reminds me of Paul’s words in the 1 Corinthians 13:1 when he compares a person speaking in tongues without love as being a “noisy gong or a clanging cymbal”. Not just a gong or a cymbal, but a noisy and clanging one. In the hem of the high priest, the fruit softened the sounds of the bells. They kept them from being noisy and clanging together.
I maintain that it is possible that if the pomegranate represents the fruit of the Spirit then the bell could represent the gifts of the Spirit. It is interesting to me that there are 9 categories of the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and 9 categories of the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor. 12:7-10). Look at this interesting sequence. In 1 Cor. 12, Paul speaks of the gifts. In 1 Corinthians 13, he speaks of love. In 1 Corinthians 14, he speaks of the gifts again. So we get the bell-gifts (1 Cor. 12), pomegranate-fruit (1 Cor. 13), and bell-gifts (1 Cor. 14).
The NT ministry today is complete and more effective when we operate with the gifts and the fruit. The gifts represent the power of Christ. The fruit represents the character of Christ. Both are desperately needed today. Some people find the bell-gift/pomegranate-fruit connection a bit of theological stretch. Regardless of your view on that, I will remind you of Paul’s words, “Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual [gifts,] but especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Cor. 14:1 NASB)
This Sunday we are believing for more clarity on how we can be the church God has called us to become. We are believing God for a fresh outpouring of His Spirit. God is empowering us to walk in love and power, in the power and character of Christ! We will be the finished product God intends and effective at expanding His kingdom by reaching people He loves.
We are believing to connect 1000 people to Jesus Christ and His Church.
We have tools for you.
Evangelism How-To Pamphlet
Surrendered Follow-up Cards
For more go to http://evangelnorth.net/surrendered/
Also, get your “How can I PRAY for you?” shirts here.
We love you. We are looking forward to seeing you at Evangel North Church Sunday 9 AM & 11 AM, and Wednesday at 7 PM.
Also new service: Saturdays 6 PM, at Evangel World Prayer Center (6900 Billtown Road).
Pastors John & Erin Carmichael
Evangel North Church – A multi-generational multi-ethnic church reaching a region with the Gospel of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of God.