They fashioned the breastpiece–the work of a skilled craftsman. They made it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen. It was square–a span long and a span wide–and folded double. Then they mounted four rows of precious stones on it. Exodus 39:8-10
There were twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes. Exodus 39:14
One of the interesting facts of the early Israel nation is how God communicated to Moses and the high priest through the breastpiece and the ark of the covenant. We don’t know exactly how the communications worked, but the Bible tells us God spoke to Moses from between the cherubim above the atonement cover on the ark of the covenant. Aaron the high priest wore the breastpiece with the 12 stones representing the 12 tribes, and that the Urim and Thummim were also placed on the breastpiece. The Urim and Thummim were decision indicators, basically a choice between two options, e.g., yes,no; right, left; go, stop, etc. King Saul prayed that if he or his son Jonathan were at fault, respond with the Urim, but if the men of Israel were at fault, respond with the Thummim. We don’t know how the stones lit up or otherwise indicated God’s decision. Similarly, when selecting a tribe or tribes, we don’t know how the stones representing each of the tribes indicated God’s decision. We know God provided a means for this communication and decision making. We don’t know what became of these two integral components. Today we have the Word, Jesus Christ, His written Word, the Bible, and His Helper, the Holy Spirit to communicate with us. Don’t allow them to be lost in your life, as the ark and the breastpiece were lost for Israel. Keep those lines of communication open. Use those lines of communication and God will be a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.