“So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart, when he goes into the holy place, as a memorial before the Lord continually.” ~Exodus 28:29, NKJV
“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His Name. ‘They shall be Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘on the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.'” ~ Malachi 3:16,17, NKJV
I had the most beautiful image in my mind this morning as I studied these verses. Please know that I am taking some liberty with this – it’s a thought, an insight – so please, treat it as such.
My imagery had to do with the jewels. Now, technically, the original meaning for jewels in this verse from Malachi means, “special possession or peculiar treasure”. That in itself, is a beautiful image. The Lord was saying, “On the day I make them My special possession or treasure, I will spare them.” But let’s consider how this imagery of the jewels could relate to the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the place of dwelling for the Lord.
God gave very specific instructions for the Tabernacle. Aaron was chosen by God to minister to Him in the Holy of Holies, that inner court of the Tabernacle that housed God’s Presence behind the veil (yes, THAT veil). Aaron was the High Priest, a type of Christ in the Old Testament. His priestly garments were amazing. On the outside of his robe he wore an ephod. This was constructed of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and made of fine woven linen. It was coupled together with shoulder straps. On top of the ephod, Aaron wore a breastplate. Ask the Lord to help you see this picture in your mind as you read the following description found in Exodus 39:8,10-14:
“And he made the breastplate, artistically woven like the workmanship of the ephod, of gold, blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and made of fine woven linen. And they set in it four rows of stones: a row with a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald was the first row; the second row, a turquoise, 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 in their mountings. There were twelve stones according to the names of the sons of Israel: according to their names, engraved like a signet, each one with its own name according to the twelve tribes.”
Can you see it? These stones were like jewels. Each jewel had the name of one of the tribes of Israel engraved upon it so that as Aaron went before God, he carried Israel over his heart before El Shaddai, Almighty God. Think about it: Judah, Rueben, Simeon, Issachar, Ephraim, Benjamin, Zebulun, Joseph, Dan, Asher, Naphtali, and Gad. These engraved jewels were a reminder to the Lord God of His covenant with His children: “I will be your God and you will be My people.”
Now fast-forward to the end of the Old Testament, the book of Malachi. We learn that God made up a book of remembrance where those who think of Him often are listed and will be spared on the Day of judgment. The commentary in my Spirit Filled Life Study Bible says, “Those listed in the book of remembrance will someday be like the jewels over Aaron’s heart.”
I pictured Jesus, our High Priest, going before the Father, carrying our names upon his heart engraved on jewels mounted to His breastplate of righteousness. They were names like, Nan, David, Jamie, Jake, Gladys, Tee-Tee, Mid, Jewel, Barbara, Luke, Judy, Teena, Brenda, Angie, Karl, Robin, Poonam…
Can you feel the goosebumps? Isn’t that beautiful?
Revelation 3:5 reads, “He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life: but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.”
That was Jesus talking. Jesus, our High Priest, the One with our names engraved upon the jewels mounted on His breastplate over His heart as a reminder to our God that we belong to Him.
Oh. My. Goodness.
Father, I love it when You do this! What an awesome picture You have given me. You know how much it thrills me when I can pinpoint very specific threads that weave in and out of Your Word. I love that! Thank You for stitching this together for us. You are so incredible. We love You, Lord. Bless Your Holy Name!