Sunday, December 8, 2013

024. Table of Showbread: The Tabernacle - Part X

Exodus 25:23-30

 23 Thou shalt also make a table of shittim wood: two cubits shall be the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half the height thereof.
 24 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, and make thereto a crown of gold round about.
 25 And thou shalt make unto it a border of an hand breadth round about, and thou shalt make a golden crown to the border thereof round about.
 26 And thou shalt make for it four rings of gold, and put the rings in the four corners that are on the four feet thereof.
 27 Over against the border shall the rings be for places of the staves to bear the table.
 28 And thou shalt make the staves of shittim wood, and overlay them with gold, that the table may be borne with them.
 29 And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them.
 30 And thou shalt set upon the table shewbread before me alway.
Leviticus 24:5-9

 5 And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. 6 And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the Lord. 7 And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto 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 Aaron’s and his sons’; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the Lord made by fire by a perpetual statute.

The table stood on the north end of the Holy Place. This piece of furniture was an emblem of friendship, fellowship, and companionship. When we share a meal with someone, we are connecting with them in a deeper way than just having a conversation. Our Savior desires fellowship with the redeemed ones; more than just a casual acquaintance. He wants to know us. The word "communion" means "fellowship". We are invited to the table to fellowship with Him, to sup with Him. To truly become His friend. A drink offering always accompanied the meal offering of the bread in the Tabernacle. This was wine. Some of the drink offerings were poured out at the bronze laver and some in the Holy Place. In our faith, we partake of the emblems of the sacrifice of Christ every Sunday, the sacrament of bread and wine (water), which are blessed upon an altar by priests of the Aaronic order. 

Many of the objects of the tabernacle that have been described thus far were just vehicles for something Holy. For example, it was not the bronze altar, but the sacrifices that were made upon it that atoned; it was not the laver, but the water that was in it which cleansed; it was not the lampstand, but the oil and its light that illuminated the Holy Place. The table described in this post, held bread upon it, which the priests ate. Bread represents life, true life, which is the Word of God, who is Christ. The bread was made of the finest flour, which was purified and ground down into a perfect form. Such was Christ's life. He was pure, refined, ground down. The bread was baked. So to was Christ tested in the furnace of affliction. He became the true Bread of Life, that whoso would partake of Him would never hunger; He would satisfy those who trust in Him. The bread on the table was perpetually replenished so that the priests would never go without. Similarly, in Christ's atonement, there is no end, there is always enough to satisfy, it is eternal! The bread was just bread, but it represented life through Christ our great friend and Savior.

023. Golden Lampstand: The Tabernacle - Part IX

In Exodus 25 we read:
 31 And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
 32 And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:
 33 Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
 34 And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
 35 And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
 36 Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
 37 And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
Inside the Holy Place were several items of furniture. Outside we had the bronze altar and laver, inside we have gold. Progression from bronze to gold. On the left was the golden lampstand. Whereas the bronze laver had virtually no description in the scriptures, the golden lampstand is described in great detail. It was not a candlestick as it is sometimes called. No candles were used in any Old or New Testament worship. Only oil lamps were used. The lampstand was made of pure gold and it weighed one talent, about 125 pounds. There was a main shaft with 7 branches; 3 to the right, 3 to the left, and 1 at the top.

The Shaft

The Hebrew word for shaft, yarek, means "thigh"in 20 instances in the scriptures, "loins" in two, "side" in four, "body" in one instance. A further three instances connect yarek with birth. The shaft represents Christ, we being born of Him, through Him, He is the main vine, we are the branches. John 15:4-5 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." A branch of the lampstand would be worthless as it could not stand on its own, would fall over, and cease to provide light. We must be connected to the center, to Christ, in order to produce any kind of light, but the light is through and because of Him. On the main shaft were three knobs. Three is the symbol of divinity.

The Branches

As mentioned previously, there were 7 branches. These can represent the 7 days of creation. The central branch had several golden features upon it: four bowls, four knobs, and four flowers. Four is the symbol of the earth. The six lateral branches each had three bowls, one knob, and one flower. The central branch came out of the top of the main shaft. This could represent Christ in mortal form. The six branches came out from the side of the shaft. The number 6 represents man, formed on the 6th day. We must connect to Christ to live and provide light. The entire shaft to branch connection represents God's peace extended to mankind through His Son who came to earth.

The Knobs (or Knops)

Some writers described the knobs in the form of pomegranates. The pomegranate is an emblem of peace, and appeared on the hem of the high priest's robe. Three knobs or pomegranates on the shaft represent divinity, thus indicating God's eternal peace. On the central shaft were four pomegranates, representing the earth with its four corners, thus earthly peace, or peace through Christ's earthly ministry. He published peace, He was the Prince of Peace. The six branches each had one knob, indicating peace that can come to us through our connection with the Lord.

The Bowls

The bowl, also translated cup or pot, were made to look like almonds. There is some confusion about the exact translation or interpretation about this facet of the lampstand. Some suppose the bowls were like leaves protecting a bud.

The Flowers

These were lilies, representing beauty. The creations of God are beautiful. There is beauty in Christ, in all that He did, although man despised and rejected Him while in the flesh. From out of the flowers of the lampstand came the lamps themselves.

The Lamps

Out of the flowers, beauty, came the light, the seven lamps. The light of the lamp stand illuminated the Holy Place, which was inside. It cast light on the table of showbread, the altar of incense, and the veil; the place of intercession. It was not the lamp that made the light, it only bore the light. The light came from the pure oil that was continually being put into the lamp. Similarly, we are called to carry the light of the gospel to all the world. We are not the source of that light, but are called to carry it.