Insert the Urim and Thummim into the sacred chestpiece so they will be carried over Aaron’s heart when he goes into the Lord’s presence. In this way, Aaron will always carry over his heart the objects used to determine the Lord’s will for his people whenever he goes in before the Lord (Exodus 28:30 NLT).
Revelation and Character
We do not know exactly what the urim and thummim were. Some have suggested that they were images or symbols. But we do know what they represented. Urim exemplified lights or revelation, and thummim characterized perfections or proven character. What does this have to say to us today? The Old Testament is revealed in the New, and the New Testament is concealed in the Old. The Lord gives us an object lesson about the condition of the heart of a servant of God, be it under the Old or New Covenant.
The Heart Of The Matter
The commentator Matthew Henry thought the passage above may be read as, “And you will give, add, or deliver, to the breastplate of judgment, the lights and perfections, and they will be on the heart of Aaron.” He was given the ability to know and make know the mind of God. It is a two-pronged approach. The minister of the Lord needs revelation, but also the integrity to use it wisely.
God gives his servant intellectual prowess to accomplish His will. But the mind by itself can lead us to devious paths. God bestows on his children gifts necessary to accomplish their calling. But giftings by themselves are not recipes for success in ministry. It is gifting flowing out of a heart given over to God that brings victory in our spiritual pursuits. Is our motive in ministry to glorify Him, or selfish ambition?
If revelation and integrity are operative in our hearts, they tend to feed off of each other. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, and they will see God (Matthew 5: 8 NLT). When are hearts are pure it opens our spiritual eyes to see God. Sin always blurs our spiritual vision. On the other hand, when we see God for who he is, the most fantastic being in the universe, it motivates us to rid ourselves of any hindering influences.
The Urim and Thummim were lost in destruction of the temple or the following captivity and never recovered again. But that was not a major disaster as they were just a shadow of things to come. Jesus Christ came to show us the Father and reveal his will. If we look to him it will keep revelation and integrity in our hearts and fruitfulness in our ministries. We will know God and be able to make him known.
Ken Barnes, the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places” YWAM Publishing