Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
One of the mysteries of ancient Israel is the ‘Urim and Thummim’: ‘Lights’ and ‘Perfections’ (Exodus 28:29-30). According to tradition, these referred to the twelve stones set in the High-Priest’s breastplate. They are often mentioned as a means of consultation of God’s will. Only the High-Priest would wear them and only a king or prominent leader of the community could inquire from them. The High-Priest and the inquirer would stand in the ‘Holy’, and the answer would be given by the light of the Menorah shining on certain letters from the names of the tribes written on the stones of the breastplate. Until they were lost with the destruction of the first Temple, Israel often consulted with the Lord by the means of the Urim and Thummim.
One of the most popular example is how the Urim and Thummim revealed to Saul the reason for Israel’s military defeat (1 Samuel 14:24-45). This story teaches us about the use of the Urim and Thummim, but it also tells us something about sins of ignorance. They do not absolve us from defeat, but they can be ransomed.
We learn from the Urim and Thummim that God wants us to consult Him (Proverbs 3:5-7). Why did He allow the Urim and Thummim to disappear? Only He knows, but during the time of the Babylonian exile Israel developed systems of studies that kept them close to the Word and thereby God’s will. After the exile, Ezra established the system of local Synagogues and a yearly reading program.
When the people returned from the Babylonian captivity, Ezra also worked at re-establishing the Temple priesthood. When some families could not prove their Levitical descent, they were refused the offices of the priesthood (Ezra 2:61-62). Their name was not enough. They needed to be found written in the registry. Disobedience had had a disastrous effect on the country. Ezra was therefore determined to stick to the Torah commands about Levitical priesthood and circumstantial evidence was not accepted. Ezra told them, not to partake of the most holy food, until there should be a priest to consult Urim and Thummim (Ezra 2:63), a statement which lends itself to the idea that one day, a High-Priest will return with the Urim and Thummim.
Only that High-Priest-Priest, He who is Light and Perfection truly knows whose name is written in the ‘Book’ (Hebrews 5:5; Revelations 20:15). He promised through Moses and confirmed through Peter that we are a nation of priests (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 2:5, 9). As Yeshua HaMashiach returns with the Urim and Thummim, He will confirm whose name is written in the ‘Book’. We will then be able to partake of the ‘most holy food’, of the ‘peace offering’ (Leviticus 7:31-32;
In the mean time may we, through the agency of the Holy Spirit learn to consult Him about all our affairs. May we learn to seek His advice and follow it no matter what it says.