Right now in my Bible reading, I am reading in the book of Exodus about the specific instructions for the construction of the tabernacle, as well as for the clothing of the priests who would minister within the tabernacle. Today I was reading about the clothing designed for Aaron, and the high priests that would follow him. After a long explanation of different precious stones that were to be placed in the breastplate that the high priest would wear, I came across a verse that really got a hold on my heart.
“And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually” (Exodus 28:29). This got me to thinking about the names that are written across my heart today. The first name that came to me was the name of my wife, Terry. Her name was written on my heart almost thirty-nine years ago. Because of her, the names of Jamie, Monica, Patrick, and Amanda have also been written across my heart. Because of them, the names Dave, Jesse, Mary, and Lawrence have been added, and written across my heart. Because of them, the names Rylie, Maya, Keira, Cailyn, Carson, Tristan, Aiden, Gavin, Layla, and Amari have been added to the list of names across my heart (to my children … there’s still room for more names to be added … just saying …).
What was the purpose of the twelve stoned on the breastplate of Aarons robe? He was to be reminded, every time he put it on of a number of things. First, those stones were valuable and precious. They were in no way common, or ordinary. My wife, our children, their spouses, and our grandchildren are in no way common or ordinary to me. They might be unknown to you, but I promise you, they are each on my heart every day, and they are extremely valuable to me. I would give all that I have in order to help them in any way they might need help.
Second, those stones were close to the heart of Aaron. He was reminded every time he put on that breastplate that he was standing before the Lord for others. It is important that I understand (and that each of you reading this understand) that I am not living this life for me alone, but for each of these names that God has placed upon my heart. As one of my favorite songs says, I want our children to be able to sift through my life when it is done, and see a path of faithfulness that will lead them to my Heavenly Father. I want to realize that the steps I take today will be followed someday by those names I listed before. Aaron had a great responsibility, and so do each of us today. We are not living for ourselves, but for those who are on our heart.