“Accepted In The Beloved”

The names of the twelve tribes engraved on precious stones were borne both on the shoulders and on the breast of Israel’s high priest (Ex 28:9-12, 15-29). How encouraging and consolatory it is for the tried, tempted and buffeted believer to remember that the Father only sees him on the heart of His Beloved—they are arrayed in divine comeliness.

The world cannot see them thus; but their Father does, and this makes all the difference. Men, in looking at the Father’s children see only their blots and blemishes. They have no ability whatever to see further, and as a consequence, their judgment is wrong—always one-sided. They cannot see the sparkling jewels, bearing the names of the Father’s redeemed, engraved by the hand of changeless love.

True, it is that the believer should be most careful not to furnish the men of the world with any just occasion to speak reproachfully (1Tim 5:14). They should seek, “that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (1Pet 2:15). If only they entered, by the Holy Spirit, into the comeliness in which they ever shine, in the Father’s vision, it would assuredly lead to a walk of practical holiness, moral purity, and elevation before the eyes of men. But thank God, our judgement is not with men, but with the Father; and He graciously shows us our great High Priest, bearing our judgment on His heart before the Father continually.

This imparts deep and settled peace—a peace which nothing can shake. We may have to confess and mourn over our constant failures and short-comings; the eye may, at times, be so dimmed with the tears of a genuine contrition as to be but little able to catch the luster of the precious stones on which our names are engraved, yet there they are all the while. Our Father sees them, and that is sufficient. He is glorified by their brightness—a brightness not of our attaining, but of His imparting. We had naught save darkness, dullness and deformity. He has imparted brightness, luster and beauty.

The golden plate on the high priest’s forehead was the type of the essential holiness of the Lord Jesus Christ. “It shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord” (Exo 28:38). What rest for the heart amid all the fluctuations of one’s experience! Our High Priest is “always” in the presence of the Father for us. We are represented by, and accepted in, Him. His holiness is ours. The more deeply we become acquainted with our own personal vileness and infirmity, the more we enter into the humiliating truth that in us “dwelleth no good thing” (Rom 7:18), the more fervently shall we bless our Father for the soul-sustaining truth contained in these words, “It shall be always upon his forehead, that they may be accepted before the Lord.”

The more clearly we enter, by faith, into objective truth, or what is true of us in our risen High Priest, the deeper, more experiential and practical will be the subjective growth in us, and the more complete will be the manifestation of the moral effect in our life and character. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.” “To the praise of the glory of His grace, through which He hath made us accepted in the Beloved” (Isa 26:3; Eph 1:6).

- C H Mackintosh