Besides the robe and coats and turbans made of linen, there is a special breastpiece, a square that has attached to it twelve stones. Each stone was a different gem and they were each engraved with the name of one of the tribes of Israel.
There were no half tribes here; one of them must have been Joseph.
The names of the twelve tribes were also engraved on the shoulder pieces from which this breastplate hung.
The names of the tribes of Israel were carried on the shoulders and over the heart of the priest.
He bore the weight of their sin as he entered to minister. But their beauty to the Lord protected the priest’s heart from being crushed by the sin of the people.
The priests were bringing their people before the Lord. We need to bring before the Lord those the Lord has put in our lives, in our care.
The priest is a symbol of Jesus. He is our high priest. He bears us up and keeps us close to His heart.
The first part of Isaiah 49:16 says that God has engraved you in the palm of His hand.
This is also talking about Israel, but who is Israel? It is you if you are part of the body of Christ. You are grafted in.
Whenever the Scriptures are talking about His beloved children, He’s talking about you. Whenever His talking about His chosen people, He’s talking about you.
At the end of the chapter, Exodus 39, Moses blesses the people because they have obeyed everything the Lord has commanded and completed the tabernacle. The obedience brings the blessing.
The blessing is only one thing, His presence. The whole point of the tabernacle and the priest is so that God’s presence could be with them. He is the blessing.
You want Him to bear your name, and you want to bear His. We’ve mentioned being marked for God. How about this promise of being marked for Him?
“The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.” (Revelation 3:12)