“So Aaron shall bear the names of the sons of Israel on the breastplate of judgment over his heart…”
– Exodus 28:29
Aaron and his sons were given the priesthood. They would be consecrated and set apart for this particular calling. They were given specific instructions on the clothes that were to be worn when ministering to God. We are told that specialized artisans who were skilled and gifted were brought in so their craft could be used by the Lord. With God’s instructions, they designed a breastplate with the twelve tribes of Israel embedded in it. That breastplate would be worn by Aaron over his heart.
I would imagine the seriousness of this responsibility weighed on Aaron’s heart. After all, God instructed that the hem of Aaron’s robe have bells attached to it so that others could hear him go into the holiest place with God and hear him when he was coming out. If they did not hear the bells, it meant that Aaron would have died in the presence of the Lord and was not able to fulfill his duties. With this high responsibility for the Lord, I would imagine that Satan may have paid particular attention to Aaron and his sons.
Aaron carried the names of the nation over his heart, yet Jesus bore our names upon His heart. Today, the names of the people in congregations around the world should weigh on the hearts of the pastors.
When sending out the seventy chosen by Jesus, He told them that they would be sent out as “lambs among wolves.” They were being sent out into a hostile environment and into enemy territory. As they are being sent out, Jesus reminds them that there is a vast field of hearts ready to be harvested to the Lord, yet there are few workers to help. They were to pray for help and support. Why? Because now, like Jesus, when walking on this earth, they had become targets of the enemy.
Not only do we need to pray for laborers, but we also need to pray for the laborers. Often, when we see or hear of our Christian leaders or even our fellow believers fail, we are perplexed and disgusted with them. I am not trying to excuse sin, but should this come as any surprise when we, as the church, have become so wrapped up in our own daily lives that we forget to pray for our leaders? Rather than sit back and judge, let’s begin to pray for them, our nation, and the true church of Jesus to be strengthened.
If you do not personally sense opposition in your own life, why is that? Vance Havner was quoted as saying, “Any man who takes Jesus Christ seriously becomes the target of the devil. Most church members do not give Satan enough trouble to arouse his opposition.” If the enemy does not even give us the time of day, we need to examine our hearts. After all, holiness makes a high target.