Of the sons of the priests: the sons of Hobaiah, of Hakkoz, and of Barzillai, who took a wife from the daughters of Barzillai the Gileadite, and he was known by their name. These searched [for their names] among those registered in the genealogies, but they were not found; so they were excluded from the priesthood as [ceremonially] unclean. The [d]governor told them that they should not eat of the most holy things [the priests’ food] until a priest stood up with Urim and Thummim [who by consulting these articles in his breastplate could[e]determine God’s will in the matter]. – Ezra 2:61-63
This is another part of scripture I must have read a few times but really never took note of it except for today. Specially as I read the Bible this year in the context of the Holy Spirit, my feeling on the method of finding the will of God through this process reminds me of our journey. God’s prepared to give us life guidance by methods which may seem strange to those of us more mature in our walk with Him. In spiritual childhood, it is more important that we discover God’s will than that the spiritually more advanced should approve it. Now that I think about it, Moses was never suggested to make use of them – it was designed for Aaron. Could be one of the reasons we rarely hear about them.
Exactly what Urim and Thummim are is never revealed to us. God is not looking for us to duplicate what He gave the Jews in the Old Testament. We are a part of the Church Age and God has a slightly different program for us. Trying to decide His will by somehow devising a Urim and Thummim is not a part of His plan. Along this line, I have seen believers, primarily immature and enthusiastic believers, who want to know, as they drive down the road, should they make a left or a right turn—which would God want them to do. They would prefer to have the Urim and Thummim affixed to their dashboard to show to them what they should do. However, this is not God’s will for our lives. If we’re filled with God the Holy Spirit and if we know doctrine, then guidance is available.
Proverbs indicates that the idea of casting lots was to ease and thereby stop contentions and to satisfy both parties involved in that particular concern/argument. I believe the last written case in the Bible of its use is in Acts chapter 1, when the apostles asked for God’s decision about the choice between two men to replace Judas. Further indication to the missing innate sense of the indwelling Spirit as believers have within them today to guide, prompt and restrain us. They at that time had no other means by which they could confidently know and render His will in making a judgment. We have Christ in us as our High Priest who guides us from within as we learn to sense His speaking into our heart.