Anyone remember a rhyme for choosing who was going to go first? One that springs to my mind is –
Dip, dip, dip, my blue ship, Sailing on the water like a cup and saucer, O-U-T spells ‘out’.
If you were really canny, you could work it to your own advantage, by choosing who you started with! Did anyone else do that or was it just devious me?
It’s one of those bible mysteries, what the Urim and Thummim were mentioned in Exodus 28:30. But they were used a bit like our old choosing rhymes. The best guess is that they were two stones of the same shape and size, but different colours. One was ‘yes’ and the other ‘no’. Aaron could ask God the question, then pull out one of the stones to get his answer. They were effective up to a point. But God had had a better plan.
When God called Moses, he was Plan A. He promised he would be with him, (Exodus 3:12), told him what to say, gave him signs and wonders to perform; but Moses was not easily persuaded, and God got angry with him. That’s when Plan B was hatched – Aaron would be his spokesman and helper. But it was second best.
How did Moses know what God wanted? Because he spoke to him. He was his friend; they had conversations. Aaron did not have that relationship, which is why God graciously allowed him, and those who followed after him, to use this simple, but very inferior device.
As adults we often make decisions with difficulty. We draw up lists of pro’s and cons, check out the internet, ask others, or even pull the answer out of a hat! Even if we do pray about it, we find it incredibly hard to hear from God, what his opinion on the matter is. And the more important the decision, the harder it seems to hear from God. An Urim and Thummim would come in handy sometimes, I confess!
God’s Plan A is for us to hear from him directly. He wants us to be his friends, like Moses was. He wants us to have that sort of relationship, that we can talk to him about anything, honestly. He wants us to enjoy his presence, not just on special occasions, but all the time. Then like the Good Shepherd in John 10, we will know his voice. Plan A.