The priest represented the people. He sought God’s direction in decisions for them. The people we advocate for and represent must be the centre of our motivation. This applies to the family, the church, the work-group – we are not in this alone and we need God’s help.
15 “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.
29 “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. 30 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
Aaron wore the priestly garment (ephod) when he ministered before the Lord. This included the names of the sons of Israel over his heart and the Urim and Thummin in his breast pocket. The best for Israel was always on his mind as God’s chosen people were made up of these twelve tribes.
Do you have anyone you carry on your heart as you complete your work? Whom has God entrusted to you as you carry out your duties. Many people come to mind as we consider the nature of our roles and whom we advocate for in life. Children, parents, congregations, clients, students, and the vulnerable… Those people matter. They matter to God and they matter to us. We cannot properly fulfill our calling without elevating their needs and care.
The Urim and Thummin played a role in this for the priest, as this was the ancient tool provided by God to determine truth and decision. Many believe this was a single object used for divination based on a yes/no outcome. Guilt could be measured with Urim meaning guilty and Thummin meaning innocent.
Perhaps it was like a coin the priest could flip.
We need God’s help in making decisions, particularly for the people God has placed into our care. Nothing has changed in that regard since the time of Moses except the tools. The Holy Spirit is routinely emerging in my studies as the fulfillment (so much better than replacement) of Old Testament ways and laws.
The Spirit will provide clarity for us as we seek him. The Spirit will burn the names of our people on our hearts. As we advocate for them the Spirit advocates for us.
We are, each of us, priests in our own rights before God, and he is helping us by the Spirit to fulfill our duties in life…