A Table in the Presence of the Lord
I had to make a choice on Monday the 1st of February. When I first got up, I thought, there’s a lot of verses left in chapter 25, eighteen in fact. But the instructions for the table of showbread are only eight verses and parts of them are very similar to parts of the details for the Ark of the Covenant.
So I started compiling a sermon which would include the entire 18 verses to finish off the chapter. I didn’t really want to do that because the details for the menorah are so exacting and precise, I figured I had have to cut them short and not do a full evaluation of that most precious item.
However, after a few hours of study and typing, I realized that I could get a full sermon out of just the verses concerning the table of showbread. There is repetition with the construction of the ark, yes, and I’m not one that likes to repeat things. However, the Lord repeated these details for a good reason and who am I to ignore repeating the meaning of them.
And so some of this sermon will repeat details of what we saw concerning the Ark, except they are modified for the construction of the table. Maybe you will get distracted at a different point in the sermon today than that of the sermon on the Ark. If so, then you might hear something new that you missed before. And there is plenty of completely new detail in this passage as well. So sit back and please enjoy what the Lord has tucked away for us.
Text Verse: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.'” Psalm 91:1, 2
What is it like to be in the presence of the Lord? Adam and Eve were in His presence, but they lost that right. The naming of the two boys, Cain and Abel, tell us a great deal about how Eve felt. She desperately wanted to go back to that land from which she was exiled.
And this has been the great hope of mankind ever since. Every culture has some ideal of what it will be like, but only the Christian has a foretaste of it in reality. We are literally brought back into the presence of God and into right fellowship with Him once again because of the work of Christ.
Now we can truly experience a glimpse of what lies ahead. In Christ, we are safe, we are secure, and we are heard. Our prayers can ascend to our heavenly Father and He really hears them. The table of the showbread gives us an Old Testament look into this truth. So let’s jump right into it and see what the Lord has in store for us to see.
It’s all to be found in His superior word. And so let’s turn to that precious word once again and… May God speak to us through His word today and may His glorious name ever be praised.
I. The Table of Showbread (verses 23-30)
In the Holy of Holies there was one piece of furniture, the Ark of the Covenant. The next room of the tabernacle, proceeding out from the Holy of Holies, was the Holy Place. In this room there were three pieces of furniture: The table of showbread, the golden menorah, and the altar of incense.
The first two of these are described here in Chapter 25 and the third will be detailed in Chapter 30. The placement of the altar of incense is debated, but we will worry about that when we get to those verses. For now in this chapter, we are concerned with the table of showbread and the menorah.
The table and the menorah are both depicted on the Arch of Titus. When the Romans plundered Jerusalem, they carried these implements off as war booty. In commemoration of that, they were engraved on this arch to show the magnificence of the conquest.
It is an extra-biblical note to the surety that this record dating back to the time of Moses is accurate, and that the Jewish presence in Israel is exactly as the Bible proclaims. In other words, one cannot carry away plunder from a Jewish temple if a Jewish temple did not exist! This flies in the face of the many deniers of a Jewish presence in the land in times past.
Of the two pieces of furniture after the Ark, the table has a special significance and is to be considered of great importance. For this reason, its details follow immediately after that of the Ark and Mercy Seat. This table of showbread, like the Ark of the Covenant, pictures Christ and His work and its details begin in verse 23…
23 “You shall also make a table of acacia wood;
Moses is now instructed to make a table. The word for table is shulkhan. This is the first of 71 times it will be used in the Bible. It comes from the verb shalakh which means “sent” or “to spread out.” The idea is that a table is spread out for a purpose. This is reflected, for example, in the words of the 23 Psalm –
ta’arokh lephanai shulkhan ne’ged tsoretai – prepare before my face a table in the presence of my enemies. “Spread it out! O Lord!”
The table, like the ark and like all of the tabernacle’s furniture, is to be made of shittim, or acacia wood. As I described in the instruction for the building of the Ark, acacia is a very slow growing tree that would be readily available in the area where they were. Its heart wood is dark reddish-brown and it is beautiful when sanded and polished.
It is resistant to decay because it deposits in its heartwood waste substances which turn into preservatives. This renders it unpalatable to insects. It is also dense and difficult to be penetrated by water and other decaying agents. It is considered incorruptible, picturing the incorruptible nature of Christ’s humanity.
23 (con’t) two cubits shall be its length, a cubit its width, and a cubit and a half its height.
The table is one half a cubit less than the Ark in both length and breadth and it is the same height. The Pulpit Commentary says it would then be about three feet long, one foot six inches wide, and two feet three inches high. It is a humble sized table.
24 And you shall overlay it with pure gold,
Again, like the Ark, the wood is to be overlaid with gold. And again, it needs to be noted that zahav or gold is the finest of the biblical metals. It indicates purity and holiness, but also royalty – kings and kingdoms. It is one of the few metals that have a natural color which is not silver. Thus it is both a metal and a color, and not surprisingly, both are associated with kingship.
It is precious because of its rarity, and it is valuable. Throughout history it has been used as a basis for monetary systems, and it is the standard by which the value of other things is set. It is also considered an incorruptible metal.
And the gold here, like with the ark, has an adjective to describe it, tahor, or “pure.” It means clean or pure and comes from the verb taher which means pure in a physical, chemical, ceremonial, or moral sense. In this we can see that the gold is to be completely undefiled in any way. As the wood pictures Christ’s human nature, the gold pictures His divine nature.
24 (con’t) and make a molding of gold all around.
This molding is similar to the idea of the molding on the Ark. There, the molding was for the placement of the Mercy Seat. On the table, it is for beauty and adornment, as if it were a crown. But it was also for keeping the items of the table securely on the table. The bread which will be placed on the table will remain there, even when the table is moved. This crown is not said to be of wood which is then overlaid with gold. Rather, it is a solid gold molding.
25 You shall make for it a frame of a handbreadth all around,
The word for the “frame” which is to be made is a new word in the Bible – misgereth. It means “borders” as in something which encloses. The word for “handbreadth” is tophakh and it is actually quite rare. This is the first of only five times it will be seen, all in Exodus and Ezekiel.
This rim then is to be a structural support for the legs of the table. Views vary on where this frame is. Some depictions have it directly below the top of the table, or even level with it. Some have it somewhere down the legs of it. The depiction of the table on the Arch of Titus shows something halfway down the legs, but that is not a frame.
Rather, those were pieces attached to the legs for the holding of silver trumpets. The frame itself appears to be right at the top of the table.
25 (con’t) and you shall make a gold molding for the frame all around.
This is not the same molding as that of verse 24. The first molding went around the table at its top. This one would be outside of the rim itself, either outside of the first rim or under the table top. Looking at various photos of replicas of this table will show you how different artisans view these words.
26 And you shall make for it four rings of gold,
The only real difference between this verse and verse 12, is that it says the rings for the Ark were to be cast out of gold. However, it can still be assumed that these were also to be of cast gold. The word for “ring” is tabbaath and it should be re-explained for you to remember.
The word means “ring,” but it comes from another word, taba. That is a verb which means “to sink.” This then gives the idea of a signet ring which is sunk into clay or wax in order to make a seal. From this comes the idea of any ring.
26 (con’t) and put the rings on the four corners that are at its four legs.
The Ark had feet to which the rings were attached. This table has legs and so a new word, peah, is used here to indicate “corners.” As each leg is at a corner, the rings are attached there. However, the rings are not at the top or the middle of the legs. Rather, it says, al arba ha’peot asher l’arba raglav – “in the four corners that are on the four feet.”
In other words, the rings were at the very feet of the table. When it was carried, like the Ark, it would be completely elevated above those who carried it. No image that I looked for accurately depicted this aspect of the table. But, this is exactingly depicted on the Arch of Titus. Like the Ark, it does not specify whether these rings are on the short side of the table or the long side.
However, the depiction on the Arch of Titus shows that the top is considerably longer than the legs. Therefore they ran along the longer side of the table. Unlike the Ark, the table would sit along the side of the holy place in a lengthwise manner. Therefore, even with the poles inserted, they would not interfere with the movement of the priests.
27 The rings shall be close to the frame, as holders for the poles to bear the table.
These words can be interpreted in several ways. Because we have the depiction of the Arch of Titus, we know what the table looked like. Therefore, these words are not correctly translated as “close to the frame.”
As the poles were at the feet of the table, and the frame was at the top, the words mean something like “opposite the frame” or “over against the frame.” Barnes correctly says, “…the rings were to be placed not upon the framing itself, but at the extremities of the legs answering to each corner of it.”
The rings were as far from the top of the border as the border was from the top of the feet. This then means that the poles were right at the bottom, and when it was carried, the entire table was above the carriers.
28 And you shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold,
The same process for the poles of the Ark is seen for the poles of the table. They were to be made of shittim, or acacia wood, and they were to be overlaid with gold.
If you noticed, the same thing has occurred here as occurred in the description of the Ark and the Mercy Seat. Neither the rings, nor the gold of the poles has the adjective “pure” associated with them. Why? The answer is the same as for that of the Ark, which I will explain later.
28 (con’t) that the table may be carried with them.
There is a difference between this and the instructions for that of the Ark. In the construction of the Ark, it specifically said –
“The poles shall be in the rings of the ark; they shall not be taken from it.” Exodus 25:15
For this reason, many scholars come to the conclusion that the poles were removed from this table when it was placed in the tabernacle. This is how Jamieson-Faucett-Brown states it –
“The staves, however, were taken out of it when stationary, in order not to encumber the priests while engaged in their services at the table.” JFB
There is no reason to assume this and every reason to assume otherwise. First, the fact that the rings were said to be cast for the Ark and not for the table doesn’t mean they weren’t cast. It logically follows that they were.
Secondly, the reason for explicitly stating that the poles were to remain in the Ark is because they, in fact, would be considered as encumbering movement in the Holy of Holies. Logically, one would think they would be removed so that the priest wouldn’t have to walk between or around them to apply the blood on the mercy seat. But this was what was expected.
And third, it has already been shown that the poles were alongside the longer side of the table. It’s placement in the Holy Place means that the staves would in no way encumber the movement of the priests, even if they remained in the table. Considering what they picture, there is every reason to assume that they were not taken from the table, even at rest.
29 You shall make its dishes, its pans, its pitchers, and its bowls for pouring.
Each of the words – qearah or “dishes,” qasah or “pitchers,” and menaqqith or “bowls,” are used for the first time in the Bible. The word kaph or “pans,” is a common word which means “hands.” However, this is the first time it is used in this sense.
qearah, or dishes, is used 17 times and only in Exodus and Numbers. It comes from a word which means to tear, or cut out. Thus it is something hollowed out like a shallow bowl. These were probably used for bringing the loaves of bread to the table.
kaph, or pans, simply means hand. Thus it is something like a hand. Some translations say “spoon,” but pan, or even “cup” seems more likely. These would have been used to hold incense which was placed with the bread.
qasah, or pitchers, comes from an unused word meaning “to be round” and so it is a jug or a pitcher. It is a rare word used only four times in the Bible. These would have been used for pouring out drink offerings in conjunction with the changing of the loaves each week.
menaqqith, or bowls, indicates a sacrificial basin for holding blood. In this case, it would be wine, as in a drink offering. It is also a rare word found only four times in the Bible. Like the previous word, these would have been used for pouring out drink offerings in conjunction with the changing of the loaves each week.
Each of these is noted as “for pouring.” The word for “pouring” is nasak and it means “to cover.” Thus, when something is poured out, it covers something else. This word has been used only once so far, in Genesis 35 where it said this –
“So Jacob set up a pillar in the place where He talked with him, a pillar of stone; and he poured a drink offering on it, and he poured oil on it. 15 And Jacob called the name of the place where God spoke with him, Bethel.” Genesis 35:14-15
It is obvious that the table of showbread was used not only for the display of the bread, but it is where these instruments were placed in conjunction with the rituals which accompanied ministering to the Lord. One bowl is seen atop the table in the depiction on the Arch of Titus.
29 (con’t) You shall make them of pure gold.
Like the gold for the construction of the table, only the finest and purest of gold was to be used for these items. They were to be used in the service of the Holy Place and each is given as a picture of the Lord, His work, and His church to come.
*30 And you shall set the showbread on the table before Me always.
From this verse, we derive both the object of the table’s use and the name which we ascribe to the table; it being called “the table of showbread.” However, this name is really a paraphrase of the Hebrew. It was first introduced into English as “showbread” in William Tyndale’s translation of Hebrews 9:2 back in 1526.
What it actually says is lekhem pannim lephanay tamid, or “bread of the faces before My face continually”. Therefore it is the Bread of the Faces, or as some call it, the Bread of the Presence. The word “always” or tamid, means “perpetually.” This comes from an unused root meaning to stretch, as an indefinite extension. Thus one gets the idea of “perpetual” or “that which is continuous.”
This table then will be used for the placement of twelve loaves of bread which were to be set continually before the Lord, as is noted in Leviticus 24 –
“And you shall take fine flour and bake twelve cakes with it. Two-tenths of an ephah shall be in each cake. 6 You shall set them in two rows, six in a row, on the pure gold table before the Lord. 7 And you shall put pure frankincense on each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, an offering made by fire to the Lord. 8 Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. 9 And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place; for it is most holy to him from the offerings of the Lord made by fire, by a perpetual statute.” Leviticus 24:5-9
He is our Bread of Life, the one who sustains us
And through His life, we have been given life too
A constant theme in the Bible, it does discuss
From the beginning to the end; yes, through and through
In Christ we can again draw near to the Lord
And in His presence forever remain
We are counted as holy, so says His word
Never again will God look upon us with disdain
Justified! We are allowed access once again
Through the blood of Christ, our fellowship is restored
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race, the sons of men
For those who have not His calling ignored
II. Wonderful Pictures of Christ
Like the Ark of the Covenant, and the Mercy Seat, the descriptions in these verses all point to the work of Christ. The Ark is a picture of Christ, the embodiment of the law. The Mercy Seat pictures Christ, our place of propitiation and atonement. These are in the Most Holy Place.
Outside of that place we have the first piece of furniture described, the Table of the Bread of the Faces, the Bread of the Presence, or the Table of Showbread. All three names are depicted in the details. The furniture is described as shittim wood covered in gold.
The shittim wood is the base material for the table. Its heart wood is dark reddish-brown and is beautiful when sanded and polished. It pictures Christ’s humanity. He, a son of Adam from the Middle East, and thus bearing the same general color as the wood. Shittim is an incorruptible wood, thus picturing His incorruptible nature. Though a Man, He never sinned.
The table, like the Ark, was not of a very large size. In fact, it was humble in that regard. Rather than being some giant, ostentatious thing that people would flock to, it was rather lowly. This pictures Christ in His humbled and lowly human state. He didn’t come as a larger than life figure, but rather He came to a poor family and led a rather small existence by the world’s standards.
The table was overlaid with gold, the most precious of the biblical metals. This represents His divinity which overlays the wood, or His humanity – He being the God/Man. The word for “overlay,” tsaphah, is identical to a word which means to look out or about, spy, keep watch.
Thus His divine nature is what watches over His subjects, keeping an eye on them. The gold therefore not only pictures His divine nature, but it is also a picture of His royal, kingly status. One who has subjects is the ruler of those subjects. And finally, the gold is the standard by which the value of all other things is set. Therefore, He is the standard by which all others are compared to.
The gold of the table is described by the adjective tahor, or pure. This comes from the verb taher which means pure in a physical, chemical, ceremonial, or moral sense. In this we can see that the gold is completely undefiled in any way, thus it pictures Christ’s perfect purity in all ways – physical, moral, etc.
The table was completely covered with gold. This pictures Christ’s complete incorruptible human/divine nature. He is simultaneously fully Man and fully God. And He is completely incorruptible in both respects.
The molding of the table is also a picture of His kingly status. Though the word for this molding is never used in the Bible to indicate a king’s crown, in picture, this is exactly what is seen. This crown was at the top of the table, where the bread was to be placed, the symbolism of which I’ll get to when we get to the bread.
After the crown molding, the frame is next described. It is said to be a “handbreadth” thick all around. This word handbreadth, or tophakh, comes from another word used only twice in the Bible. Once in Isaiah 48:13 where the Lord is said to have “stretched out” the heavens by His right hand.
And once again in Lamentations where it speaks of children who are held by another, as if dandled in their hands. Thus the idea of the handbreadth shows the ability to accomplish a feat. In this case, it is sufficient to support the table of the bread of the faces. This pictures the Lord’s ability to establish and sustain His people through His own work. This is seen, for example, in Isaiah 59 –
Then the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him
That there was no justice.
16 He saw that there was no man,
And wondered that there was no intercessor;
Therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him;
And His own righteousness, it sustained Him.
17 For He put on righteousness as a breastplate,
And a helmet of salvation on His head;
He put on the garments of vengeance for clothing,
And was clad with zeal as a cloak. Isaiah 59:15-17
In the Bible, Christ is said to wear “many crowns.” The molding for that frame reflects another of His many kingly roles, that of establishing and sustaining.
After this, the four rings are mentioned. These have the exact same symbolism as for that of the Ark. The number four in the Bible always speaks of the physical creation. The four corners of the earth are represented by the four rings.
The four-fold division of mankind – the families, tongues, countries, and nations are represented by these four rings, and thus the four rings are represented by the message of the four gospels going out to all people and all places.
The ring is the symbol of authority, as a signet. Just as a signet sinks into the wax as a sign of authority and testimony of the king’s rule, the four gospels sink into the hearts of man and are a testimony and authority of the rule of Christ the King.
These rings are attached “in the four corners that are on the four feet.” These four feet then are the gospels which are taken to the ends, or the four corners of the earth. They are the written record of the work of Christ from which the message of Him is derived.
The placement of the rings at the feet of the table thus elevates the table above those who carry it. It is a picture of exalting the work of Christ above all else. As our feet move, carrying the gospel, Christ is elevated to His proper position, above all.
The poles of the table, or bad, are that on which the table rests as it is being carried. The number two in the Bible indicates that there is a difference in things – they contrast, and yet they confirm. There is the heavens and the earth. They contrast, and yet they confirm the extent of creation. There is man and there is woman. They contrast, and yet they confirm the totality of humanity.
The word bad means “alone.” There are two poles which together support the one table. The table pictures Christ and thus they picture the two testaments which present the work of Christ. They are what makes Christ mobile to the world as their word carries Him, each contrasting – the law and grace, but each supporting the whole and confirming the message of Him.
And each is made of the same materials, shittim wood and gold. Together, they proclaim the dual nature of the coming Messiah and the Messiah who has come – He is the God/Man.
As the four gospels are the transition from Old to New, it is the four rings, attached to the four feet, to which the two testaments are affixed. As Christ is the King, the carrying of the table on the poles pictures the palanquin which a king would have been carried around on. He is the King depicted in the four gospels which are tied to the two testaments of the Bible.
As the table can only be carried by two poles, not just one, it teaches us that should either or both testaments of the Bible be removed, we would not have a proper presentation of who Christ is. Without one or the other, we would have a faulty view of Him, and without either, we would have no knowledge of Him at all.
The reason why the adjective tahor, or “pure,” is not used to describe this gold is because the gospels and the two testaments have been handled by man. They have our taint in them, even if they are the inspired word of God.
How often have I highlighted for you errors in the KJV, the NKJV, or in the many other translations which I refer to! Though the word of God is pure, man’s hands and his fallible interpretations have been used in the process of sharing it. The lacking adjective is no mistake. Instead, it is another picture for us to understand.
After this the four items for the service of the table were mentioned – the dishes, pans, pitchers, and bowls. These were to be used for the bread, incense, and wine which accompanied the rituals surrounding the weekly bread offering.
Although these will be described later, and their symbolism fully addressed then, a quick look at them now will help us see the purpose of the table. It and the provisions are both types of Christ. The bread pictures Christ explicitly in the Bible.
First, He was born in Bethlehem, in Hebrew beit lakhem, or “the House of Bread.” It was given as an initial clue that from the House of Bread would come the true Bread of Life. Throughout His ministry, he used bread in both picture and word to demonstrate fundamental truths about Himself, the word of God, and our need for both. Several times in John 6, Jesus says that He is the Bread of life, such as this –
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” John 6:47-51
This now explains why the poles run along the longer side of the table, rather than the shorter side. It is because this table, unlike the Ark, is being carried as a funeral bier. Christ died as our Bread of Life. Only in His death can we have this life. This is why when we take the Lord’s Supper; it says we “proclaim His death until He comes.” Every detail is perfectly ordered and arranged.
The fact that there are 12 loaves shows the totality of His church. Bullinger defines twelve as a perfect number, which signifies “perfection of government, or of governmental perfection. It is found as a multiple in all that has to do with rule.” And this is exactly what the bread signifies.
The “bread of the faces” pictures those who are all of the subjects of their King.” As we are in Christ, we are, as Paul notes in the New Testament a part of the same lump of bread as that of the Firstfruits, meaning Christ. Here is one such verse –
“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
The bread had no yeast in it, picturing His sinless perfection. As we are in Him, we too are now deemed sinless. This bread was to be placed in two rows, six per row. These then show that they are of the same lump and yet they differ. Two implies a difference. The number six is the number of man. Two sets of loaves shows two types of man. Therefore, it is a picture of both Jew and Gentile being one in Christ.
We now are in Christ and share in His sinless state before God. In other words, these two rows of bread carry the same general significance as the two cherubim that were on the Mercy Seat. The frankincense placed on the bread pictures Christ’s work. He was presented with frankincense at His birth, picturing what was to come in His ministry.
At His death, His body was wrapped in spices according to the Jewish customs. This would have included frankincense. His death is remembered at the presenting of the loaves. It is His death that makes us acceptable to God once again.
The changing of the loaves each week on the Sabbath was a sign that we are always being renewed in Christ. Even though we currently live in fallen bodies, we are even now positionally seated with Christ in the heavenly places. But more importantly, it is a picture of our being rested in Him, our true Sabbath Rest.
This is why we don’t need to observe a Sabbath day any longer. He is our rest and our place of rest. This is confirmed by those most memorable words of fulfillment found in Hebrews –
“For we who have believed do enter that rest.” Hebrews 4:3
Our status in Christ, and our eternal spiritual renewal in Him, is pictured by this changing of the loaves. Paul speaks of our renewal in Christ several times such as in this passage from 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 –
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
As this bread is before the face of the Lord, it is also called the “Bread of the Presence.” In other words, in the bread, there is a picture of the people, but also in the location of the bread, there is a picture of being in the presence of the Lord. It pictures the communion between us and the Lord, because we are in Christ.
The bread being on the table pictures our being supported by Christ. He is the underpinning of our position. Without Him, the God/Man, there would be no place for us before the Lord, but because of Him we rest safely there in His presence.
The wine would have been poured out at the time of the changing of the loaves, picturing the pouring out of Christ’s blood for His people. The incense being sprinkled on the loves pictures our death with Christ. It symbolizes the access that we have to God’s throne of grace in our time of need. This was made possible by His death. This is seen again and again in the New Testament such as –
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4
Until now, I have left off the symbolism of the crown molding which is at the top of the table simply because of what it pictures. It is obviously a picture of His kingly role, but because it is at the top of the table, it thus surrounds the loves of bread, which picture those who are in Christ.
Therefore, this crown molding is a picture of the eternal salvation of those who are in Christ. He surrounds and encompasses them, and therefore, it pictures Christ our King in His role as the One who justifies His people before God.
The description of this second piece of furniture follows naturally after that of the Ark of the Covenant. One cannot be “in Christ” until the mission of Christ was fulfilled. Thus, the Ark was detailed first – His Divine/Human nature fulfilling the law and embodying the tablets of the law.
Next, the Mercy Seat was detailed. It was His sacrifice, which was in fulfillment of Scripture. Once that was accomplished, He began His next role, that of being our Bread from Heaven. We can now participate in His life by receiving His work. From that, we become a part of the lump of Bread, His body.
Our lives are now literally in the presence of God and our prayers are now acceptable to God. From this marvelous aspect of His work, we will move on next week to that pictured by the menorah, the golden lampstand, which will complete the chapter. We’ll hope for wonderful things in that passage as well.
What we should learn from the repetition of many of the same themes as the construction of the Ark is that we are being asked to remember the truths they reveal. We are to remember what the acacia wood represents, we are to remember what the gold represents, and we are to think on why some gold is to be “pure” and why other gold doesn’t have that adjective attached to it.
On and on, repetition is used in these pieces of furniture to show us things we are to remember. And above all, we are asked to direct our attention to Christ. It is He who is the subject of every picture we see. If we can remember this, then our continued studies throughout the rest of the Bible will all make complete sense.
And as God wants us to see Christ, it is an indication that He wants us to receive Christ. In so doing, we will again be pleasing to Him. Without the Son, no man can be pleasing to the Father. And so be sure to call out to Him for the forgiveness of Your sins. And then come forward and share in the Lord’s Table; a memorial of the giving of the true Bread of Life for us.
Closing Verse: “The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? 17 For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.” 1 Corinthians 10:16, 17
Next Week: Exodus 25:31-40 Something surrounded by a wonderful aura… (The Menorah) (70th Exodus Sermon)
The Lord has you exactly where He wants you. He has a good plan and purpose for you. Even if a deep ocean lies ahead of You, He can part the waters and lead you through it on dry ground. So follow Him and trust Him and He will do marvelous things for you and through you.
The Bread of the Presence
You shall also make a table of acacia wood
Two cubits shall be its length; that will be just right
A cubit its width; this is understood
And a cubit and a half its height
And you shall it with pure gold overlay
And make a molding of gold all around, just as I say
You shall make for it a frame
Of a handbreadth all around
And you shall make a gold molding
For the frame all around; its appearance will astound
And you shall make for it four rings of gold
And put the rings on the four corners
That are at its four legs; do this as I have told
The rings shall be close to the frame, this is where
As holders for the poles, the table to bear
And you shall make the poles of acacia wood
And overlay them with gold
That the table may be carried with them, as is understood
You shall make as you are now told
Its dishes, its pans, its pitchers, and its bowls for pouring
You shall make them of pure gold
And you shall set the showbread
On the table before Me always, as to you I have said
A marvelous table in its purpose and design
A table for bread to be in the presence of the Lord
And what it pictures is wonderfully sublime
Such beautiful pictures of Christ are found in this word
Lord God, how good it is to know that we now can rest
In your Presence because of the work of Jesus
It was He went to the cross, completing the test
And His work now restores access to You for us
We thank You and we praise You for this wondrous glory
Which You have revealed to us through the gospel story
Hallelujah and Amen…