And now we come to the priestly garments. Here’s the thing I loved about this chapter: "Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in gold filigree settings and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the Lord." (vs 11-12)
What’s interesting to me about this is that God certainly doesn’t need these names engraved on stone to remember, does He? Is He incapable of remembering His children without physically seeing their names engraved on Aaron’s clothing? Of course not.
So what’s the point of setting these stones on the clothing as a "memorial before the Lord"?
Here’s what I think: God wants us to know that He remembers. He wants us to remember that He remembers. For God, the fact that we know that He remembers us is just as important as the fact that He remembers us in the first place. The stones on Aaron’s clothing were not for God’s memory, but for the Israelites to know that they were remembered.
And what wonderful symbolism, as well, that Aaron carried the names of the Israelites over his heart. Whenever he went before God, the names of the Israelites were there, reminding him that God’s people are near and dear to His heart, just as they were physically near to Aaron’s heart.
Today, God is saying to us, "I remember you. So I want you to remember that I remember. Never forget how special and important you are to Me!"