Do you ever feel like you are distant from God? Do you wonder if He has so many “big” important things to think about that you are not really in His thoughts? While it might seem that way, I believe that God does think about us, and we are ever-present in His infinite mind.
Here’s just one reason why I believe we are never out of mind.
Exodus 28 describes the garments that were to be made for Israel’s first high priest, Aaron. God gave very detailed instructions for every aspect of Hebrew worship. The structure of the Tabernacle itself is a wonder, with intricate parts that could be set up easily to create the place where God’s glory would dwell among them, and then taken down and transported to their next location as they followed the pillars of fire and cloud through the wilderness. God is a God of details, and He also is a master engineer!
God also gave specific, detailed instructions for the types of offerings, the furniture that was made to go in the Tabernacle, and perhaps even more surprising, He was a master designer of priestly robes! Every part of the worship had significance, down to the smallest detail.
There were two things mentioned about Aaron’s priestly garments that caught my attention this morning. First, two onyx stones were to be engraved with the names of the tribes of Israel (six on each stone). These onyx stones were then attached to the shoulder pieces of the ephod (a beautifully embroidered linen apron worn over top of the priest’s robe).
Exodus 28:12 – You shall put the two stones on the shoulder pieces of the ephod, as stones of memorial for the sons of Israel, and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD on his two shoulders for a memorial.
A second piece of the garment was the breastpiece (or breastplate), to which they attached four rows of three precious stones (all unique), each engraved with one of the names of the twelve tribes. This breastplate was attached to the ephod.
Exodus 28:29,30b – Aaron shall carry the names of the sons of Israel in the breastpiece of judgment over his heart when he enters the holy place for a memorial before the LORD continually. … Aaron shall carry the judgment of the sons of Israel over his heart before the LORD continually.
What a beautiful picture of our New Testament relationship with Jesus!
Jesus fulfilled the duties of the high priest once and for all when He became our sin sacrifice on the cross (Hebrews 10). He is our high priest. We also, as New Testament believers, have been grafted in as the children of the promise (Romans 11, Galatians 3). While we are not Abraham’s descendants physically (unless we are Jewish), we are his spiritual descendants by faith.
All that to say, I love the picture that Jesus bears the names of His children on His shoulders, and He carries their names on His heart, even on the breastplate of judgment, signifying that sin has been judged and we are secure in Him. Jesus sits on the right hand of God the Father, interceding for us (Romans 8:34). He continually carries our names as a memorial, bearing our burdens on His all-powerful shoulders. We are engraved on His heart, secure in His eternal, unconditional, sacrificial love.
How precious also are Your thoughts for me, God! How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
Next time you feel lonely, remind yourself that you are on Jesus’ heart and mind, and He is there to bear your burdens and take your concerns to the Father. We are not alone. We are well-represented in the heavenly tabernacle!