Wednesday, January 18, 2017

At table: What the Table of the Showbread signifies

Our relationship with God is like a meal with Him at table.

From my Ligonier class 'Understanding the Tabernacle', we read,
We tend to appreciate a delicious meal enjoyed in the company of good friends. Such delight in a common meal should not surprise us, because the Lord in His Word describes many times in both the Old and New Testaments how our relationship to Him is like a meal we sit down to enjoy together with Him. In this lesson, Rev. Hyde explains to us the "bread of the presence" in the tabernacle and how it communicates to us God’s desire for intimate covenant fellowship with His people by way of presentation, preservation, and participation.
Here is the main verse where God tells Moses what and how to make the items for the tabernacle.

"You shall make a table of acacia wood. Two cubits shall be its length, a cubit its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height. You shall overlay it with pure gold and make a molding of gold around it. And you shall make a rim around it a handbreadth wide, and a molding of gold around the rim. And you shall make for it four rings of gold, and fasten the rings to the four corners at its four legs. Close to the frame the rings shall lie, as holders for the poles to carry the table. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold, and the table shall be carried with these. And you shall make its plates and dishes for incense, and its flagons and bowls with which to pour drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. And you shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before me regularly. (Exodus 25:23-30).

Did you ever wonder about this verse below...where the beginning part of the verse states that the Angel of the LORD (Jesus) encamps around those who fear Him, and then the verse goes into tasting and seeing that the LORD is good? What does a encampment have to do with tasting? If you remember that our relationship with the LORD is like eating with Him at table and enjoying a meal, the verse shows that you are enjoying intimate fellowship with Him even in the midst of enemies.

The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, And rescues them. O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! (Psalm 34:7-8).

Especially in the midst of enemies! As David wrote:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. (Psalm 23:5).

If you read Exodus carefully you might notice a particular word that occurs often, it's the word 'regularly'. I underlined it in the verse above. The LORD regularly meets with His priests who represent the People. He makes regular visits with His people at table. Often, frequently, repeatedly. What a God we have, who regularly meets with His people to partake of intimate fellowship!

In the tabernacle, there was a table on which the priests would place the bread. The table had a raised crown molding around the edge. The description of the table reminded me of the table that was in my old living room growing up:


There was a lip around the edge of it. In the Tabernacle, the raised edge signified the following:
The table contained crown molding to keep the bread and utensils from falling. This prevented the bread from becoming defiled. This pictures the Lord’s preservation of His people. He who never slumbers ever keeps His children in the grip of His grace. The table permitted partaking in the bread, denoting the participation of God’s people with Him. Source: Ligonier Connect courseUnderstanding the Tabernacle

On the last day, we will join the Lord in His presence and eat with Him and drink with Him.

I tell you I will not drink again of this fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. (Matthew 26:29).

And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are the true words of God." (Revelation 19:9).

Blessed are those invited (called, elected) to participate with intimate fellowship in Him, our King, Priest, Friend, and Savior at His table!


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