Feb. 20, 2014
Exodus 28-Part 4
Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. Exodus 28:17a
LET IT GLOW
It happened when I was married less than a year. One day as I worked at the sewing factory, I saw that the diamond in my wedding ring was missing. I had lost it. Disheartened, I searched around my sewing machine, with nothing found. I hated to leave work that day. My diamond was gone forever. I knew that it had taken my then fiancé several weeks to work and save up for it. Saddened by the lost, I continued to wear the plain rings. I valued it as a symbol of my husband's love.
Several years passed before we were financially able to replace it with a whole set. The new set of rings are even more beautiful than the first ring, although not as sentimental. (By the way, my husband lost his original wedding band while on a mission trip, so I don't feel so badly.)
Aren't we precious jewels to our Lord? After all, our salvation cost Him everything.
Shall we take a look at the second article of the high priest's wardrobe mentioned in this chapter?
We are discussing the wardrobe which the high priest, Aaron, was instructed by God to wear while he ministered in the Tabernacle. In our previous lesson, we discussed the ephod. Today we will discuss the breastplate (verses 15-30).
How is the breastplate described in the New International Version of the Bible?
It was to be/have:
- fashioned for making decisions; (verse 15)
- the work of a skilled craftsman; (verse 15)
- made of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and finely twisted linen; (verse 15)
- 8"-10" square; (verse 16)
- 12 precious stones, each with the name of a tribe or sons of Israel on it, in 4 rows, and mounted in gold; (verses 17-21)
- or have 2 braided chains of pure gold, like a rope, each attached to the breastplate using 2 rings of pure gold, one on each side, and the other ends of the chains were attached to the two settings at the should pieces of the ephod in front; (verses 22-25)
- another set of gold rings, attached to the other two corners of the breastpiece on the inside edge next to the ephod; (verse 26)
- two more gold rings, attached to the bottom of the shoulder pieces on the front of the ephod, close to the seam just above the waistband of the ephod; (verse 27)
- rings of the breastpiece were tied to the rings of the ephod with blue cord, connecting the waistband so it wouldn't swing out from the ephod. (verse 28)
Are you aware of the details in your life that the Lord handles? Perhaps you barely escaped an accident. He is so good to us!
LET IT GROW
It seemed like a lot to read about the breastplate. Stay with me, now, we aren't finished yet. I think this will spark some interest in you.
The purpose of the breastplate was that Aaron would bear up the children of Israel upon his heart, when he went inside the Holy Place. It was to keep Israel before the LORD continually.(Falwell)
Attached to the breastplate of judgment were two items called the Urim and Thummim.
According to the Strong's Concordance, Urim (in Hebrew is Uwrim, pronounced oo-reem'), means lights; the oracular brilliancy of the figures in the high priest's breastplate.
Thummim (Tummitm, pronounced toom-meem'), meant perfections; one of the epithets of the objects in the high priest's breastplate as an emblem of complete Truth.
Aaron wore these two pieces over his heart as "the judgment of the children of Israel." Judgment was in the sense of giving a verdict or decision. They represented the right of the high priest, who could not approach God directly after Moses was gone, to request guidance. (MacArthur)
In Wiersbe's Expository Outlines on the Old Testament we read:
Jesus Christ, our high priest in heaven, has His people on His heart and His shoulders as He intercedes for us and equips us to minister in this world. The beautiful cloth "pouch" had the twelve precious stones on the outside and the Urim and Thummin in the pocket.
The names of the tribes on the two shoulder stones were positioned according to their birth order (verse 10), established by the Lord (Num. 10). God sees His people as precious jewels-each one is different, but each one is beautiful. It is generally thought that those were stones that were used to determine God's will for His people (Num. 27:21, 1 Sam. 30:7-8). Today God has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit to direct us.
Matthew Henry's commentary on the Whole Bible encourages us with this:
Let not any good Christians fear that God has forgotten them, nor question His being mindful of them upon all occasions, when they are not only graven upon the palms of His hands (Isa, 49:16), but graven upon the heart of the great Intercessor.
Divine revelation centers on Jesus Christ, and comes to us through Him: He is the Light, the true Light, the faithful Witness, the Truth itself, and from Him we receive the Spirit of Truth, who leads into all truth. It was by His death that He purchased this honor for Himself, and this favor for us. It was the Lamb that had been slain, that was worthy to take the book, and to open the seals. (Rev. 5:9)
Wow! PRAISE THE LORD!
LET IT GO
Seek God's will through His Word and Holy Spirit.
Remember that I am loved by the King, Jesus.
Stay close to the heart of God.