“Bezalel made the ephod…He made gold thread by hammering out thin sheets of gold and cutting it into fine strands. With great skill and care he worked it into the fine linen…
Bezalel made the chestpiece with great skill and care.”
Exodus 39:2-3, 8 NLT
When it came to the creation of clothing for the priests, I saw a unique phrase in the New Living Translation that was not used to describe any other item in the Tabernacle. Only the ephod and chest piece were made with great skill and care. It intrigues me that those just happen to be the two items that represent PEOPLE.
The ephod housed two onyx stones to be carried on the priest’s shoulders, each with the names of six tribes of Israel. The chest piece housed twelve different gems to be carried over the priest’s heart, each engraved with one tribe’s name.
The whole purpose of the Tabernacle was for God to have a place to dwell among man. His desire for that relationship was portrayed every day as the priest entered GOD’s dwelling carrying the names of GOD’s people. Names, and the people they represented, were important to God. In His presence, they would never be forgotten.
What a beautiful picture of Jesus, our High Priest. If our strength is gone, His shoulders are strong. When we cry, we’re close to His heart. Whatever our need, Jesus answers with great skill and care. And we can be sure, our High Priest is standing at the right hand of the Father so our names will never be forgotten!