BIBLE READING: Exodus 28-30
As Moses gives instructions from God as to all the details of the priestly garments for Aaron, I have always been fantasticated by the ephod. The ephod was the breastplate the high priest was to wear that was constructed of material that was gold, blue, purple and scarlet. The construction of the ephod is described in Exodus 28.15-ff. What was always so fascinating to me was that embedded into the ephod, was to be twelve specific gems that were to be aligned in a specific way, “You shall set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle shall be the first row; and the second row an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; and the third row a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; and the fourth row a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They shall be set in gold filigree. There shall be twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They shall be like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes.” (Exodus 28:17-21). As noted within the text, each stone was attributed a specific tribe of the nation of Israel. I always understood their significance during the period of the Law of Moses, but could there be some significance for us today? I recently read a very interesting article by George Young, who is a former New York City taxicab driver who now serves as a minister. Although his qualifications may not deem him as an expert on the issues of all things priestly, he did seem to draw a very interesting conclusion. He writes, “ The variety of hues and colors in the stones representing the whole people of God helps us recognize the diversity of all peoples who are now part of God’s family in Christ. We are all precious in his sight. In Isaiah 54:11-13 God speaks of the redeemed this way: “Afflicted city . . . I will rebuild you with stones of turquoise, your foundations with lapis lazuli. I will make your battlements of rubies, your gates of sparkling jewels, and all your walls of precious stones. All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” And in a vision of heaven in Revelation 7:9 we see a multitude “from every nation, tribe, people, and language, standing before the throne [of God] and before the Lamb.” ( https://today.reframemedia.com/devotions/priestly-garments )
Although I guess we cannot know for sure until we are on the other side of eternity, he does draw a very interesting and practical application for something that has seemed so fascinating. Just as the High Priest was to wear this ephod, “So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel in the breast piece of judgment on his heart, when he goes into the Holy Place, “to bring them to regular remembrance before the LORD.” (Exodus 28:29 ), Jesus also bears all our names as He continues to be our Ultimate High Priest, to be our Mediator between us and God. I pray that we will all do our best to be in that number of the redeemed.