Close to the Heart of God

Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.

Exodus 28:15, 29-30 (NIV)
“Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions—the work of skilled hands. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen… Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord. Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.”

Exodus 28:15, 29-30 (MSG)
“Now make a Breastpiece of Judgment, using skilled craftsmen, the same as with the Ephod. Use gold; blue, purple, and scarlet material; and fine twisted linen…Aaron will regularly carry the names of the sons of Israel on the Breastpiece of Judgment over his heart as he enters the Sanctuary into the presence of God for remembrance. Place the Urim and Thummim in the Breastpiece of Judgment. They will be over Aaron’s heart when he enters the presence of God. In this way Aaron will regularly carry the Breastpiece of Judgment into the presence of God.”
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“You are to make a breastpiece of judgment, the work of a skilled and talented craftsman; like the work of the ephod you shall make it: of gold, of blue, purple, and scarlet fabric and of fine twisted linen… So Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob) in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the Holy Place, to bring them in continual remembrance before the Lord. In the breastpiece of judgment you shall put the Urim (Lights) and the Thummim (Perfections) [to be used for determining God’s will in a matter]. They shall be over Aaron’s heart whenever he goes before the Lord, and Aaron shall always carry the judgment (verdict, judicial decisions) of the sons of Israel over his heart before the Lord.” -AMPLIFIED

The next priestly garment that God gives instructions for was the breastpiece of judgement. This was to be worn by the High Priest and was attached to the Ephod. This breastpiece was mounted with precious gemstones:
First row: carnelian, topaz, emerald.
Second row: ruby, sapphire, crystal.
Third row: jacinth, agate, amethyst.
Fourth row: beryl, onyx, jasper.

Each stone represented a tribe of Israel and it was to be worn over Aaron’s heart when he entered the presence of God. In this way the people were twice represented. (Remember those stones that he wore on his shoulders that bore the names of the tribes of Israel?) This was once again a demonstration of God’s great love for His people as well as, the priest being a foreshadowing of Christ.

Does it not amaze you how BIG God’s love is for each of us? Jesus came to Earth, lived as we lived, walked among us, healed the sick, raised the dead, and taught us how to live. Then He died for our sins; paying the price that we could not pay. Now He stands before the Father as a Representation and Advocate for us. How amazing is all of this?!?

Let’s take a quick look at the Urim and Thummim. Scripture really does not tell us much about how they were used. What we do know is that they were gemstones used by the High Priest to determine the will of God in various situations. Leviticus 8:8 gives us a little insight on them, “Moses then put the breastpiece on Aaron, and he put in the breastpiece the Urim and the Thummim [the sacred articles the high priest used when seeking God’s will concerning the nation].” -(AMP)

Ezra sheds a little more light, “The governor told them that they should not eat of the most holy things [the priests’ food] until a priest stood up with Urim and Thummim [who by consulting these articles in his breastplate could determine God’s will in the matter].” -Ezra 2:63 (AMP)

Suffice it to say, God cares about His people and we have the privilege of approaching Him with all of our concerns. The Apostle Peter reminds us of this, “Casting all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].” -1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

Trust in God; you are close to His heart, even precious to Him. He will take care of you.

My Prayer:
Lord, there are times that I need to be reminded of how great the love of the Father is for me. To know and realize that I am precious in your sight brings comfort, peace and even hope to me. Thank you for that great, amazing love that would not be detoured until you broke through the walls that I had built up against you. Thank you too, that I have Jesus Christ standing in the gap for me. He is my Representative and Advocate. Knowing that He stands before your throne making intercession for me is so reassuring. God, you are so good to me. I love you!

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