39 Moreover, from the [a]blue and purple and scarlet material, they made finely woven garments for ministering in the holy place [b]as well as the holy garments which were for Aaron, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
2 He made the ephod of gold, and of [c]blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine twisted linen. 3 Then they hammered out gold sheets and cut them into threads [d]to be woven in with the [e]blue and the purple and the scarlet material, and the fine linen, the work of a skillful workman. 4 They made attaching shoulder pieces for [f]the ephod; it was attached at its two upper ends. 5 The skillfully woven band which was on it was like its workmanship,[g]of the same material: of gold and of [h]blue and purple and scarlet material, and fine twisted linen, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
6 They made the onyx stones, set in gold filigree settings; they were engraved like the engravings of a signet, according to the names of the sons of Israel. 7 And he placed them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as memorial stones for the sons of Israel, just as the Lord had commanded Moses.
The ephod was one of the most important priestly garments, and it shows from the material that was used to fashion it. The fine blue, purple and scarlet just wasn’t enough for the ephod. The workman went a step further and fashioned thread from gold. Yes, from real gold. With our modern machinery, that doesn’t seem such an incredible feat, but with the technology of Moses’ day, this must have been a painstaking and time consuming endeavor. But it was all worth it to ensure that the High Priest was adorned properly to meet with God and atone for the sins of the people (including himself). Least we get too carried away with adornments, however, we need to also keep this in context. The adornments were not to impress the people. The adornments were to please God, and no other. It is difficult to find a balance there, but the important thing is to keep our focus on the One who matters most in all the world.