In Exodus 28, there is a cool set of verses. God is telling Moses to set his brother Aaron up as the first priest for the nation of Israel. God is describing for Moses what Aaron’s priestly uniform is to look like. In the middle of a bunch of descriptions about gold, and tunics, and other stuff, it says:
29 “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breastpiece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord.30 Also put the Urim and the Thummim in the breastpiece, so they may be over Aaron’s heart whenever he enters the presence of the Lord. Thus Aaron will always bear the means of making decisions for the Israelites over his heart before the Lord.
At first, it’s kind of a Hallmark card, “Aw, isn’t that sweet” kind of deal. But wait. At this time in history, you didn’t love someone with all your heart, you loved them with all your guts. That’s where it hurt when you were in love, so they described love as coming from the guts, not the heart.
So why have Aaron put the names of the people of Israel over his heart if it wasn’t a symbol of God’s love for them? I’m not sure. It might be that the heart was a symbol of life. Aaron represents God. The tribes names represent all of the people who follow God. Maybe it’s a beautiful symbol of God continually giving life to those who love Him.
Either way, it’s amazing that God goes out of His way to be sure we know our names are on God’s heart all the time.
I don’t need to understand any more than that, and I’m good.
One thought on “I Love You with All My Guts!”
Splaunchnidzomai…sounds like a disease, but its my favorite Greek word. Found it in the story of Jesus and the feeding of the 5000. Same root meaning in this reference, I think. I'm such a nerd for knowing this.
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