Urim and Thummim
Dr. Joe Temple

Review

Open your Bibles, please, to the book of Exodus, chapter 28. We resume our study of the tabernacle with emphasis upon two other pieces of garments that were worn by the high priest. We have studied the tabernacle and its building and its furniture, and we have begun to study the various garments which were worn by the high priest. Those garments are described in chapter 28 of the book of Exodus.

Exodus 28

1And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron's sons.
2And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and for beauty.
3And thou shalt speak unto all that are wise hearted, whom I have filled with the spirit of wisdom, that they may make Aaron's garments to consecrate him, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
4And these are the garments which they shall make; a breastplate, and an ephod, and a robe, and a broidered coat, a mitre, and a girdle: and they shall make holy garments for Aaron thy brother, and his sons, that he may minister unto me in the priest's office.
5And they shall take gold, and blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen.
6And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, of scarlet, and fine twined linen, with cunning work.
7It shall have the two shoulderpieces thereof joined at the two edges thereof; and so it shall be joined together.
8And the curious girdle of the ephod, which is upon it, shall be of the same, according to the work thereof; even of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.
9And thou shalt take two onyx stones, and grave on them the names of the children of Israel:
10Six of their names on one stone, and the other six names of the rest on the other stone, according to their birth.
11With the work of an engraver in stone, like the engravings of a signet, shalt thou engrave the two stones with the names of the children of Israel: thou shalt make them to be set in ouches of gold.
12And thou shalt put the two stones upon the shoulders of the ephod for stones of memorial unto the children of Israel: and Aaron shall bear their names before the LORD upon his two shoulders for a memorial.
13And thou shalt make ouches of gold;
14And two chains of pure gold at the ends; of wreathen work shalt thou make them, and fasten the wreathen chains to the ouches.
15And thou shalt make the breastplate of judgment with cunning work; after the work of the ephod thou shalt make it; of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and of fine twined linen, shalt thou make it.
16Foursquare it shall be being doubled; a span shall be the length thereof, and a span shall be the breadth thereof.
17And thou shalt set in it settings of stones, even four rows of stones: the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle: this shall be the first row.
18And the second row shall be an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond.
19And the third row a ligure, an agate, and an amethyst.
20And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper: they shall be set in gold in their inclosings.
21And the stones shall be with the names of the children of Israel, twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet; every one with his name shall they be according to the twelve tribes.
22And thou shalt make upon the breastplate chains at the ends of wreathen work of pure gold.
23And thou shalt make upon the breastplate two rings of gold, and shalt put the two rings on the two ends of the breastplate.
24And thou shalt put the two wreathen chains of gold in the two rings which are on the ends of the breastplate.
25And the other two ends of the two wreathen chains thou shalt fasten in the two ouches, and put them on the shoulderpieces of the ephod before it.
26And thou shalt make two rings of gold, and thou shalt put them upon the two ends of the breastplate in the border thereof, which is in the side of the ephod inward.
27And two other rings of gold thou shalt make, and shalt put them on the two sides of the ephod underneath, toward the forepart thereof, over against the other coupling thereof, above the curious girdle of the ephod.
28And they shall bind the breastplate by the rings thereof unto the rings of the ephod with a lace of blue, that it may be above the curious girdle of the ephod, and that the breastplate be not loosed from the ephod.
29And Aaron shall bear the names of the children of Israel in the breastplate of judgment upon his heart, when he goeth in unto the holy place, for a memorial before the LORD continually.
30[Notice this verse especially] And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

These verses of Scripture describe the various garments worn by the high pirest which we have already considered and the ones we will be considering now. Turn, please, to chapter 8 of the book of Leviticus. In this chapter we have the order in which the garments were placed upon Aaron, the high priest, and we have studied the garments in this order. We have not studied them in the order that was given in Exodus, chapter 28, where the detailed description of each individual garment is presented, but we studied them according to the manner in which they were donned by Aaron:

Leviticus 8

1And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2Take Aaron and his sons with him, and the garments, and the anointing oil, and a bullock for the sin offering, and two rams, and a basket of unleavened bread;
3And gather thou all the congregation together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
4And Moses did as the LORD commanded him; and the assembly was gathered together unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.
5And Moses said unto the congregation, This is the thing which the LORD commanded to be done.
6And Moses brought Aaron and his sons, and washed them with water.
7And he put upon him the coat, and girded him with the girdle, and clothed him with the robe, and put the ephod upon him, and he girded him with the curious girdle of the ephod, and bound it unto him therewith.
8And he put the breastplate upon him: [notice this phrase] also he put in the breastplate the Urim and the Thummim.

We told you the breastplate was a little pouch made of a piece of cloth that was doubled once and fastened to the shoulders by little black onyx stones in ouches of gold. It was fastened at the waist to the curious girdle with blue lace. It was approximately ten inches square, and it was made of the same material as were the ephod and the robe, woven in blue and gold and purple and scarlet.

On the face of this breastplate were twelve precious stones, three of them in a row, four rows each. We examined the first row of stones in detail and saw the typical significance of the stones themselves. Then we examined the relationship of each of these stones to three other things–according to the circumstances of birth of the sons of Jacob, according to the patriarchal blessing that fell from the lips of Jacob, and according to the prophecy given by Moses just before he departed from this life.

In examining these stones in this manner, we endeavored to point out several spiritual lessons that we trust were a real blessing. We left it up to you to study the last three rows of stones in the same manner we did the first row because there is quite a bit of repetition. We would be looking at these same three passages of Scripture and we would be making similar applications, and we did not feel it would be worth the time to go over things that you could go over for yourself.

The Rabbinical Tradition

The last high priestly garment that we studied was the breastplate, in connection with the stones on the front of it. If we follow the outline given in Leviticus, we realize that the next items in the clothing of the high priest are those which are referred to as the urim and the thummim. What were the urim and the thummim? What actually were these two things? We cannot answer this question positively because the Scripture does not answer it positively, but the Scripture does give us some hints as to what the urim and thummim were. Rabbinical traditions tell us the urim and thummim were two stones, one of them black and the other white. There is a possibility that was true because of a certain word in the Scriptures which is used to describe the urim and the thummim.

Turn, please, to the book of Proverbs, chapter 16, where you will see a verse that is familiar to most of you, but you may not have fully realized its significance.

Proverbs 16

33The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

Let us look at that verse again and get the words clearly in our minds:

Proverbs 16

33The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

Your first thought as we read this verse is, “What relation does this verse have to the urim and the thummim?” In answer to that question, we want to call your attention first of all to the word “lap”, which is translated from a Hebrew word which is translated elsewhere by the word “bosom”. Turn, please, to Proverbs, chapter 17, verse 23:

Proverbs 17

23A wicked man taketh a gift out of the bosom to pervert the ways of judgment.

Notice the word “bosom”. It is the translation of our same Hebrew word. What does this verse say? It says that if a man wants to bribe someone, he reaches into a pocket in his bosom and takes out some money and gives it to the individual whom he wants to bribe.

Let us go back to chapter 16 of the book of Proverbs and look again at verse 33:

Proverbs 16

33The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the LORD.

What was the breastplate? A little pocket, was it not, ten inches square, worn on the bosom of the high priest? We know immediately then that verse 33 is related to the lot that was in the breastplate. We are told that the high priest cast down the lot or, as we shall see, reached into the pocket and pulled out the lot and the Lord determined the lot that was pulled out. I want to emphasize that the Lord determined it. Notice the last statement, “the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord.”

It is impossible to cast lots on a purely human basis. You might shoot dice; you might pull out the shortest straw; there are any number of ways you can cast lots purely on a human basis. But that is not what we are talking about. We are talking about the method ordained by God in the Old Testament for determining a number of things. We see in verse 33 how God governed the use of the urim and the thummim in the ministry of the high priest. We want to find out whether the urim and the thummim possibly could have been stones as the rabbinical tradition suggests.

Look at another word in this verse–the word “lot”, which is the translation of a Hebrew word which literally means “pebble” or “stone”. So you could read the verse, “The stone is cast into the bosom; but the whole disposing thereof, or the way it falls, is determined by the Lord.” So in answer to the question, “What are the urim and thummim?”, let us say without being dogmatic about it that they probably were black and white stones being used to determine the will of God.

Significance of the Words

Though we cannot be certain about their purpose, that purpose is revealed in a number of different ways. It is revealed, for example, in the very names of these instruments which were placed in the breastplate of the high priest, the urim and the thummim. The word “urim” is a transliteration of the word in Hebrew for “light”. Actually it is the plural form as is indicated by the letters “i” and “m” on the end. That means it is plural instead of singular.

You remember that in chapter 1 of the book of Genesis, verse 3, God said, “Let there be light, and there was light.” If we were to substitute the Hebrew word for the English word “light”, we would use the word “urim” in the singular form, for that is exactly what it means–“light”. A most interesting thing about it is that when the Greek scholars were translating the Hebrew into Greek in the Septuagint version of the Bible, they used for this word “urim”, a Greek word which means “manifestation”, which means “brought to light”. That is the meaning of the word.

The word “thummim” is a translation of the Hebrew word which means “perfection” or “completeness”. If you were to follow it through the Old Testament, you would find that to be true. When the Septuagint version was translated, they used the Greek word which means “truth”. So the urim and the thummim are related to the manifestation of truth. In the Old Testament they were related to light and to completeness or perfection.

Used to Determine God's Will

Let us paraphrase all that and say that the urim and thummim were two instruments in the breastplate of the high priest by which the perfect will of God was brought to light. Herein lies the lesson that we wish to learn. In order to understand it, we will look at a number of instances in the Old Testament in which the urim and thummim were used by the high priest to find the will of God.

Turn to the book of Ezra, please, chapter 2. Here there is a list of people who returned to the city of Jerusalem after they were given permission to go back from Babylon to rebuild the city and establish their worship once again. In the paragraph which begins with verse 61, there is a record of the registration of the people.

There came along a family who said they were of the priestly tribe of Levi. If they were, they had a right to minister in some fashion in the temple worship; but if they were not, they did not have that right. As their genealogy was being investigated, it was discovered that there were some discrepancies. Ezra was anxious to do the perfect will of God. He did not say as some of us might, “Oh, well, what does it matter, anyway? The important thing is to get the job done.” He said, “We cannot move; we cannot go one step further until we know the perfect will of God.” You see, he was not one of those individuals who believed that the end justified the means. Nor was he one of those individuals who believed it is necessary to do wrong in order to do right. He said, “We will not move until we know.” How do you think he found out? The story begins with verse 61:

Ezra 2

61And of the children of the priests: the children of Habaiah, the children of Koz, the children of Barzillai; which took a wife of the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and was called after their name:
62These sought their register among those that were reckoned by genealogy, but they were not found: therefore were they, as polluted, put from the priesthood.
63And the Tirshatha said unto them, that they should not eat of the most holy things, [notice] till there stood up a priest with Urim and with Thummim.

They said, “You will not participate in any of this service until the priest gets here with the urim and the thummim. He will cast lots and the Lord will decide the matter. If the urim and the thummim reveal that you are members of the priestly family, you can officiate; if you aren't, then you cannot.” So one of the purposes of the urim and thummim was to determine–notice carefully what I am saying–was to determine one's relationship to God. I want you to remember that because we will be making the application later.

Determining Responsibility to Others

Turn, please, to the book of Numbers and notice in chapter 27 the paragraph which begins with vers 18:

Numbers 27

18And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit [of the Lord] , and lay thine hand upon him;
19And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation; and give him a charge in their sight.
20And thou shalt put some of thine honour upon him, that all the congregation of the children of Israel may be obedient.
21[Notice] And he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall ask counsel for him after the judgment of [the] Urim before the LORD: at his word [the word of Eleazar] shall they go out, and at his word [the word of Eleazar] they shall come in, both he, and all the children of Israel with him, even all the congregation.
22And Moses did as the LORD commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:
23And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.

Do you see what happened? Here was a new leader of the people. He had never had any experience of full responsibility and he said, “I don't know what to do. I don't know when it's good to advance; it don't know when it's good to stay still.” God said, “You don't need to worry about it. Eleazar will be here. He will have the urim and the thummim, and when he stands before you and consults the urim, you do whatever Eleazar says the urim says do. If it says, 'Go forward', you go. If it says, 'Come in', come in. Let the urim and the thummim make the decision about your activity.”

First, the urim and the thummim determined a person's relationship to God. Secondly, the urim and the thummim determined a person's responsibility to others. Stop and think for a moment how important that is. If I alone am involved in something, I am not too concerned; that is my responsibility. But if I involve the people who fellowship here at Abilene Bible Church, that is a tremendous responsibility. Not only am I responsible for myself, but I am responsible for them as well. I need to know about my relationship to God as I need to know about my responsibilities to the people to whom I minister.

Used to Determine Location

Turn back, please, to the book of Numbers, chapter 26, and notice verse 52:

Numbers 26

52And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
53Unto these the land shall be divided for an inheritance according to the number of names.
54To many thou shalt give the more inheritance, and to few thou shalt give the less inheritance: to every one shall his inheritance be given according to those that were numbered of him.
55Notwithstanding the land shall be divided by lot: according to the names of the tribes of their fathers they shall inherit.
56According to the lot shall the possession thereof be divided between many and few.

This is a reference to what happened when the children of Israel marched into the land of Canaan. It was a vast expanse of land and there were twelve tribes. The twelve tribes were to settle in certain areas in the land. If you have a map in the back of your Bible, it will indicate where the twelve tribes settled in the land of Canaan. God said, “You are to give the people with a lot of descendants a big piece of land, and to those who don't have so many, you will give a smaller piece of land.” That was not so hard to settle. The big question was, which piece of land? “How will I know which piece of land to give to Reuben or to Caleb?”, asked Joshua?

If you were to take time to read in the Old Testament the manner in which the land was divided, you would find that not everyone was satisfied with the way it was settled. But Joshua had one answer for them. He said it was decided by lot. The lot, as we have seen, was the urim and the thummim. When the high priest and one representative of the tribe stood before Joshua, he asked God to reveal through the urim and the thummim which piece of land He wanted them to have. God did so, and when later some of them came and said, “It isn't right. We didn't get a good piece of land; those folk did,” Joshua said, “I can't do anything about it. Don't blame me; it is what God revealed through the urim and the thummim.” So the third lesson we learn in relation to urim and thummim is that they were meant by God to determine His will even about the place of location for a group of people.

Used to Reveal God's Plan

Turn, please, to the first book of Samuel. These passages of Scripture are the only places in the Bible where there is a record that the urim and the thummim were used, the only specific instances where the urim and the thummim were put to the test:

I Samuel 23

9And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod.

Wait just a minute: Weren't we talking about the urim and the thummim? Yes, but you remember that the breastplate was inseparably joined to the ephod by chains and by blue lace, so inseparably joined that the two were used interchangeably. We read here that David said, “Bring hither the ephod.” The reason he wanted the ephod was that attached to the ephod was the breastplate and in the breastplate were the urim and the thummim by which the will of God could be revealed. Look at verse 10:

I Samuel 23

10Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake.
11Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. [Notice] And the LORD said, He will come down.
12Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up.

You might be of the opinion that God spoke audibly to David, but he did not. He showed him through the urim and the thummim what His will was. I never read of this particular incident without being reminded that we do not always get the answer we like from God, do we? David said, “Lord, will Saul come down here? Am I to be delivered into his hand?” Human nature being what it is–it remains the same always–I am quite sure that as David was asking that question, he was hoping against hope that God would say, “No, you don't have a thing to worry about; I'll deliver you; I'll see to that.” But David asked, “Will Saul come down?”, and God said, “Yes, he will come down.” In the next verse, when David asked, “Will I be turned over to him?”, God said, “Yes, you will.”

Try to put yourself in David's place. How would you feel? Would your faith begin to waver? Would you get all upset and be disappointed? Would you decide maybe God didn't hear you and you'd better pray all over again? There is a tremendous lesson in this. In answer to our questions God tells us the truth, and sometimes the truth is not what we want to hear.

The urim and the thummim in the Old Testament were used of God to reveal His plan and purpose for tomorrow. We don't know the future; God is merciful in that He does not reveal it to us. If you knew today some tragedy that would befall you three weeks from now, think of the turmoil you would be in. God is merciful. But there may come times when you need to know what the future will hold in order that you may make the proper preparations. As David consulted the urim and the thummim to find what the future held for him, the future can also be revealed to you.

Turn to chapter 30 of I Samuel:

I Samuel 30

1And it came to pass, when David and his men were come to Ziklag on the third day, that the Amalekites had invaded the south, and Ziklag, and smitten Ziklag, and burned it with fire;
2And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way.
3So David and his men came to the city, and, behold, it was burned with fire; and their wives, and their sons, and their daughters, were taken captives.
4Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

Have you ever been in a place where you cried until you could not cry any more? That emphasizes how great their heartache was.

I Samuel 30

5And David's two wives were taken captives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite.
6And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters:…

Let's stop there for a moment and be warned. Make sure that your grief and disappointment do not make you want to take them out on someone else, and understand that sometimes when people are mean to you, when they are critical of you, when they are harsh, when they are unkind, they don't really mean to be. Their hearts may be full of grief and they don't know what to do and since you are handy, they take it all out on you. If you can remember that, you can bear things more easily.

Seeking God's Will In Everything

David was just as heartbroken as were these other people; he, too, wept till he had no more power to weep. He had not only his own heartache, but he had the heartache of all the people because he felt responsible for them. But notice what he did. He did not get mad at anyone. He did not talk of stoning them, and he did not try to blame them. Notice that he encouraged himself in the Lord his God. That is a wonderful practice and a wonderful habit to adopt, to encourage yourself in the Lord your God. Now notice verse 7:

I Samuel 30

7And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech's son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the ephod to David.
8And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.

That was rather silly, wasn't it? Didn't they come in and burn the city? Didn't they come in and take his wives captive? Why pray about a thing like that? Why not just get your gun and take out after these? Well, that is the way the flesh acts, isn't it?

Listen carefully to what I am about to say and do not misunderstand me. Logic can be a very dangerous thing for a child of God. The logical thing for David to have done would have been to pursue these people and take them captive. But he had learned his lesson. He had learned that God knew far more about things than he did. He said, “Let's ask God what to do. Go get the priest.” The priest came and brought the breastplate and the urim and the thummim. David said, “Consult the urim and the thummim and see what we should do. Ask God if we should pursue after this troop and overtake them.” God gave him the answer. He did not speak audibly to David; He spoke through the urim and the thummim.

I Samuel 30

8…And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
9So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind stayed.
10But David pursued, he and four hundred men: for two hundred abode behind, which were so faint that they could not go over the brook Besor.

You see, there is never any defeat when you consult the will of God in any enterprise in which you may be engaged. So we have another thing for which the urim and the thummim were used. It was used to determine the will of God in relation to what seemed to be a very logical thing. You may be saying, “Well, that is interesting, but where is our priest? That is interesting, but where is our urim and thummim? Are you suggesting that we should get some dice in our hands and shoot them and decide what to do on the basis of the numbers that come up?” No. “Are you suggesting,” someone may ask, “that you should put two straws in your hand, one short and one long, and do what you do on the basis of getting the short straw or the long straw?” No, you do not need to do that because we are living in the New Testament, not the Old Testament, and we have Someone Who can read the urim and the thummim without any mistakes.

Our High Priest

I have pointed out to you in our study of the tabernacle that everything in the tabernacle and the high priest and all his garments all point to the Lord Jesus Christ. He has the urim and the thummim, just as certainly as did the high priest of the Old Testament.

Go back to Exodus, chapter 28, and notice verse 30:

Exodus 28

30And thou shalt put in the breastplate of judgment the Urim and the Thummim; [notice] and they shall be upon Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the LORD: and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the LORD continually.

Look at the word “judgment”. It does not refer to judgment because of sin or unworthiness. It is a word that refers to decision, to a determination of the will of God. Aaron had on his heart the breastplate in which were the urim and the thummim and he bore them upon his heart before the Lord continually.

Turn, please, to chapter 8 of the book of Romans. We find here a suggestion of what our Lord Jesus Christ is doing at this very moment in the same sense that Aaron was doing. Look at verse 34:

Romans 8

34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Where was it that Aaron went with the urim and the thummim on his heart? Into the Most Holy Place where the throne of God was. Where is the Lord Jesus Christ at this moment? At the right hand of the throne of God. What was Aaron doing? He was bearing the judgment of the children of Israel before the Lord. What is the Lord Jesus Christ doing? He is bearing the judgment of the children of God today and making intercession for us.

Holy Spirit Reveals God's Will

How was it that Aaron revealed the will of God? Through the urim and the thummim. I want to suggest two things that our Lord Jesus Christ is using to reveal His will to us. “Oh,” you may say, “don't you believe He speaks audibly to people today?” Let me say this: I would not argue with those who may say He has spoken to them. But I can say this with all authority: He does speak through the urim and the thummim today–the New Testament urim and thummim–much more often than He speaks audibly as He did in the Old Testament. Look at verse 26 of Romans, chapter 8:

Romans 8

26Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself [Himself] maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered [with words which are unutterable].

May I suggest that the Holy Spirit is the urim of the New Testament. Do you remember what I said the word “urim” means? It means “light”. If you were to look at the word “fire” in the Old Testament, you would find in every instance that it is a translation of this word “urim”. What is the figure of speech that is used most often for the Holy Spirit? Fire. How did God speak in the Old Testament? Through the urim. How does He speak today? Through the Holy Spirit.

God's Will and God's Word

Turn, please, to chapter 17 of the Gospel of John. This is the high priestly prayer of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus is praying, interceding, looking out for the welfare of those who are His own. Notice verse 14:

John 17

14I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Have you ever said, “I don't know why those folk hate me; I haven't done anything.” You don't have to. The Devil will put hate in their hearts just because you belong to Jesus; you don't need to do anything. Look at verse 15:

John 17

15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, [it would make things a lot easier if He did, but He doesn't, does He?] but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil [one] .
16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17[Notice this verse] Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

What did I tell you “thummim” means in the Old Testament? Didn't I say it meant “truth”? When the Greek scholars translated the Old Testament from Hebrew into Greek, they used the Greek word for “truth” here for “thummim”. You see, the Old Testament priest had the urim and the thummim. Our New Testament priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, has the urim and the thummim to guide us. He has the Holy Spirit and the Word of God.

The urim and the thummim of the Old Testament were never used one without the other. They were always used together. The Holy Spirit and the Word of God are always used in this Age of Grace to give guidance and direction to the believer. If you use the Word not ministered by the Holy Spirit, you will become cold and legalistic and exacting. If you use the Holy Spirit without the Word, you will be emotional and erratic and undependable. But if you use the two together, you will never need to wonder what God's will and purpose are for you. He can tell you, as He told the Israelites, where you ought to live. He can tell you, as He told the Israelites, when calamity is coming so you can be better prepared for it. He can tell you, as He told the Israelites, whether the venture you have in mind will succeed or fail, and you can make your plans accordingly. Thank God that we walk not in darkness but in light.


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