Monday, January 26, 2009

Stones of Remembrance

Exodus 39

This chapter, found at the conclusion of Moses' instructions and construction of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, describes the making of the high priest's ephod and breastpiece. Two onyx stones and their settings were used to hold the ephod in place on the high priest's shoulders. Engraved on the stones were the names of the twelve tribes of Israel, "to be stones of remembrance for the sons of Israel" (ESV).

The breastpiece bore four rows of stones, each of which had the name of one of the twelve tribes, and the breastpiece was affixed to the ephod. Aaron as high priest had the responsibility for bearing the names of the tribes before the Lord on his shoulders for remembrance (Ex. 28:12). Regarding the breastpiece, in Ex. 28:29 it is called the breastpiece of judgment. Aaron had to bear the judgment of the people of Israel on his heart before the Lord.

In our day, pastors have the names of the people of their congregations on their hearts and minds continually. The pastors are to be separate (holy) from the people, certainly in attitudes and conduct, for he/she also bears the turban like Aaron did that says, "Holy to the Lord."

Any religious leaders or teachers are also to bear the people that they minister to before the Lord. Remember, it is for our remembrance, not God's, who always knows and never forgets!