Exodus 28:29, “And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goes in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually.”
I am always amazed at the incredible specifications God gave for the High Priest’s clothing. They were to be holy garments, made for “glory and for beauty.” A whole chapter of the Bible, Exodus chapter 28, is given to these instructions. One of the instructions was to take two onyx stones and grave on them the names of the children of Israel, six names on one stone and six on the other. They were then to be set in gold and placed in the shoulder-pieces of the ephod so that Aaron could carry these names before the Lord as a constant reminder.
God knew the names of the tribes of Israel which represented every adult and child in each tribe, but He wanted the names before Him continually. In the Word of God the shoulders speak of responsibility and government. It was the High Priest’s responsibility to do this. I believe that it is also the responsibility of parents to bring their children’s names into the presence of the Lord. We are to carry them before the Lord continually. We often feel the weight and burden of raising children. It can bear down upon us. But the greatest way to bear the weight is to bear it upon our shoulders in prayer and to bring our children’s names constantly before the Lord.
But that wasn’t all. God commanded them to make a breastplate for Aaron. The breastplate was to have twelve beautiful gem stones, four rows of three stones. Each gem stone represented a tribe of Israel with the name of the tribe engraved on it as though it were a seal. In this way Aaron carried the names of the tribes of Israel over his heart when he went into the presence of the Lord.
Each jewel was different showing the difference between each of the tribe families of Israel, just as each of our children is unique. We can’t parent each one the same way. This is why we constantly need to come before the Lord. We desperately need His wisdom and anointing. Exodus 28:29 MLB says, “Aaron shall wear the names of Israel’s sons over his heart on the breastplate of judgment as he enters the holy place, for a perpetual memorial in the presence of the Lord.”
What a beautiful picture for us parents. Not only should we carry the names of our children and grandchildren on our shoulders (embracing this responsibility) but on our hearts (with our affection and love). The greatest way we reveal they are on our hearts is to bring them into the Lord’s presence. He loves them. He wants their names continually before Him. In our immediate family, with children, spouses and grandchildren, Colin and I now bring 51 names before the Lord each day. This has been our life-line as we raised our children and continues to be so. We could never have done it without prayer. It is the most powerful weapon of parenthood
As you pray audibly for your children, the Lord may also lay on your heart a way to write your children’s names on something significant that you could bring into His presence as you pray for them each day. This could be something tangible that reminds you to bring them before the Lord. Ask Him to show you.
Love from NANCY CAMPBELL
Thank you for the privilege of bringing my children daily into your presence. Help me to be faithful to this responsibility. Amen.
My soul is burdened, and my heart cries,
For my children I have many sighs,
But into His presence I bring each name,
His power and anointing for them I claim.
Many women like to save these devotions. They print them out and keep them in a folder to read over and over again. Some print them out and pin them on the fridge with a magnet to read through the week.