under a special agreement with
presents "Light from the Old Testament"
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Lesson 9 (Part 2)
The Table of Showbread was a little table about 3 feet long and half that width, and about 2 feet 3 inches high. It was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold, with a gold "crown" or border around the top. On top of the table was a second "crown" of gold. The table had gold rings and staves of wood overlaid with gold so that it could be carried. (See this Scripture passage: Exodus 25:23-30—click link)
Twelve loaves of unleavened bread, covered with fine powdered frankincense, were kept on the table continually as an offering before the Lord. The bread was called "the bread of God's presence." Every Sabbath day the priest came with 12 fresh loaves or cakes of bread. The loaves that were removed became the food of the priests.
The table speaks of Christ as the glorified God-man. The acacia wood speaks of His holy and incorruptible humanity. Everything about Christ, both inwardly and outwardly, was perfection. The wood was overlaid with gold, which is symbolic of God. The wood and gold touched each other, but they were not mixed; each was clearly distinguishable from the other. How perfectly this pictures Christ! He is fully God and fully man—the God-man!
Every Sabbath day was the time appointed for the priests to assemble at the table for fellowship with God and with each other. God provided this table for His priests, who represented the people of God. "The bread of God's presence" became their food.
As Christians, we are invited to assemble weekly on the Lord's day, Sunday, to share in the Lord's Supper. For us, there are not 12 loaves, but one loaf. The Bible says,
"For we being many are one bread [one loaf], and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread." 1 Corinthians 10:17
One loaf! In God's sight there is but one body—the Body of Christ. All of God's blood-bought children are one in Christ, and we are to have fellowship with God and with His children at the Table of Showbread, free from all bitterness and enmity.
Dear child of God, where are you? Are you still at the cross, saved but not cleansed? Let us go on to the Laver for cleansing and then into the Holy Place, there to have fellowship with God, His Son, and other believers.
The bread not only points to Christ, but it also represents the believers, having Christ as their life. Christ Himself is in heaven, but the believers are the continuation of His life here on earth. Christ spoke of Himself as a grain of wheat, and the loaves were made of "fine wheat flour."
The 12 loaves, representing the 12 tribes of Israel, were set in order on the Table for God's pleasure. The loaves were covered with fine, powdered frankincense which speaks of the preciousness and fragrance of Christ's life. God said, "You shall set upon the table showbread before Me always [continually]." (Exodus 25:30) This suggests that the loaves of showbread were ever under the eye of God, for His pleasure.
The loaves were kept in place and upheld by the Table. This speaks of Christ as the One who upholds and sustains before God that which is for His pleasure. God took pleasure in the 12 loaves, representing all the people of Israel, placed in order on the Table, covered with fine, powdered frankincense. It all spoke to Him of Christ and the believers.
One day God will have the whole universe before Him for His pleasure. Christ will be the Center and the Head of a universe of bliss, which will be filled with God's glory. Christ is great enough to bring this about. The Bible says, "For in Him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." (Colossians 2:9) He upholds "all things by the word of His power." (Hebrews 1:3)
God's order and glory will be seen in the holy and heavenly city, the new Jerusalem. And it will be seen on earth in the 12 tribes of Israel, in a place of honor and authority among the nations. All of this will be sustained by Christ as Head.
Before this comes to pass, we can bring pleasure to the heart of God by fulfilling the type of the showbread.
God would have us to hold fast to Christ our Head, in love and reverence. We are to be nourished in the things of Christ, and to work together with other members of Christ's body, in love and harmony. This is what Paul had in mind when he wrote to the believers in Colosse,
"Though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ." Colossians 2:5
What does God see in this? He sees His saints, upheld and sustained by Christ, having Christ as their life, carrying the fragrance of Christ, in proper order before Him, for His pleasure.
At the end of the week, the showbread which was pleasurable to God became the food of the priests. What is before God for His pleasure becomes "food" for His people.