Urim and Thummim


In the breastplate, amongst the names of the children of Israel, was placed the Urim and the Thummim. The words mean 'the lights and the perfections.' What it was, none can now say with certainty. It is mentioned altogether seven times in the Scripture; in two of the passages the Urim only is named, and in one (Deut. 33:8) the order is reversed, and given as 'Thy Thummim and Thy Urim.' It was probably a precious stone, which by means of its various scintillations gave the answer of Jehovah concerning matters that were referred to Him by the priest. That this was its use is undoubted. Thus Eleazar was to ask counsel for Joshua 'after the judgment of Urim before Jehovah'; Saul in his last extremity appealed to God by means of the Urim (though he obtained no response); and the governor of the returned remnant was obliged to defer the claims of some unregistered priests because the Urim and the Thummim was not available (Num. 27:21; 1 Sam. 28:6; Ezra 2:63). It is because the breastplate contained this instrument by which divine decisions were given that is called 'the breast-plate of judgment.'

It is thus God's delight to make Himself and His will known to those who desire this blessed knowledge. The Urim and the Thummim in the breastplate of the high priest was the pledge that Israel never need be in darkness about any matter. And is the Christian less favoured today? With the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, the completed word of God in our hands, and a glorified Christ interesting Himself in us, there need be no obscurity in our minds concerning the smallest detail of our pathway It is, alas! not an uncommon thing to find the children of God blundering along from day to day, making a multitude of mistakes, to the grief of their own souls, and the dishonour of the worthy Name by which they are called. To hear them speak one would imagine that God has given His people up to this kind of thing. In the midst of their blunders they ask in perfect bewilderment how others manage to ascertain the mind of the Lord, and so walk consciously in the light. Self-will is the true explanation of this disastrous condition of things. Where the eye is single, and the heart is true, the path becomes as clear as the noonday sun.