“He made the breastpiece, in skilled work,.. of gold, blue and purple and scarlet yarns, and fine twined linen. It was square… They set in it four rows of stones. A row of sardius, topaz, and carbuncle was the first row; the second row, an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond; the third row, a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst; the fourth row, a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper. They were enclosed in settings of gold filigree. There were twelve stones with their names according to the names of the sons of Israel. They were like signets, each engraved with its name, for the twelve tribes. They made on the breastpiece twisted chains like cords, of pure gold. They made two settings of gold filigree and two gold rings, and put the two rings on the two edges of the breastpiece… They attached the two ends of the two cords to the two settings of filigree… to the shoulder pieces of the ephod. Then they made two rings of gold, and put them at the two ends of the breastpiece, on its inside edge next to the ephod. They made two rings of gold, and attached them in front to the lower part of the two shoulder pieces of the ephod, at its seam above the skillfully woven band of the ephod. And they bound the breastpiece by its rings to the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, so that it should lie on the skillfully woven band of the ephod, and that the breastpiece should not come loose.” Exodus 39:8-16,18-21
The priestly garments for ministering in the Holy Place were intricately crafted and lovely. Carefully woven, hammered, enclosed, and attached, each material was designed and incorporated into a secure breastpiece, worn by the priest in remembrance of every member of every tribe he represented before the Lord. They were always on his heart, and secure.
Our Great High Priest so carries us, right against His bosom that throbs with love and mercy. He adorns Himself with us, as He carried our sins to the cross, now His children as treasured ornaments. He ever bears us before the Father, interceding perfectly according to His will for our sanctification, that we will not fall, and that we will love with His love. He defends us against accusation. No one can ever snatch us from His hand, or heart. (Zephaniah 3:17; Luke 22:31-32; John 1:14; John 10:28-29; 17:15,17,26; Romans 8:31-34; Hebrews 7:25)
He also names us His priests, with the privilege of bearing one another’s burdens and holding others in our heart. He entrusts us to certain relationships to care and support with compassion and love. He reminds us to pray, upholding loved ones, hard situations, our government leaders, and the persecuted church before God’s throne. (Matthew 5:44; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 6:19-20; Philippians 1:7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2; 1 Peter 2:9)
Whom has the Lord named for me to wear on my heart? How conscientiously, lovingly, and consistently am I serving them as priest of my Lord?
Lord, may I be faithful to hold in my heart and before Your throne those You’ve entrusted to me. Help me bear their burdens and minister as a benediction to their souls, all for Your sake. (Ephesians 6:23-24; Philippians 1:3-11)