Monday, January 15, 2018

Jesus Christ, with the Candlestick, in the Word.

The Gold Lampstand
Exodus 37:17-24:
This is an account of the construction of the Golden Lampstand exactly as described by God earlier in Exodus 25:31-37.
Thoughts on the Passage
As I read and studied this passage, I was reminded of the board game my grandchildren love to play -- Clue. In it, one has to figure out who committed murder, where, and how. Here we have a parallel kind of dilemma but with totally opposite results -- we are seeking to determine who, how, and where to find the Giver of Light and Life. Stay with me. 

Robert Jamieson suggests, at this point, that “The whole of that sacred building was arranged with a view to inculcate through every part of its apparatus the great fundamental principles of revelation. Every object was symbolical of important truth--every piece of furniture was made the hieroglyphic of a doctrine or a duty--on the floor and along the sides of that movable edifice was exhibited, by emblematic signs addressed to the eye, the whole remedial scheme of the gospel.”

Jamieson also points out that the tabernacle, like the law of which it was a part, was a schoolmaster (that helped lead us) to Christ in accordance with Galatians 3:24, 25. The tabernacle was intended by its furniture and all its arrangements to serve as a "shadow of good things to come", he says, quoting Hebrews 10:1.

Matthew Henry, for his part, considers the candlestick or lampstand to be symbolic of “that light of divine revelation with which God's church upon earth (which is his tabernacle among men) has always been enlightened, being always supplied with fresh oil from Christ.”

Henry continues, “God's manifestations of himself in this world are but candle-light compared with the daylight of the future state. The Bible is a golden candlestick; it is of pure gold. . .. From it light is diffused to every part of God's tabernacle, that by it his spiritual priests may see to minister unto the Lord, and to do the service of his sanctuary. This candlestick has not only its bowls for necessary use, but its knops and flowers for ornament; there are many things which God saw fit to beautify his word with which we can no more give a reason for than for these knops and flowers, and yet we are sure that they were added for a good purpose. Let us bless God for this candlestick, have an eye to it continually, and dread the removal of it out of its place.


What gives you the ‘light’ you need for your path each day? Is it the candlestick of the Old Testament Law, or is it the Word of God as you absorb regularly, or is it your personal relationship with the Light itself, Jesus Christ? God intended for one to lead to the other.  And there is still more “light” and “Light” to come for those that believe.

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Sunday, January 14, 2018

In the O.T., we can only look; in the N.T., we can eat.

The Table of Showbread
Exodus 37:10-16:
A detailed account of the construction of the Table of Showbread to the specifications God gave earlier to Moses upon the Mount as recorded earlier in Exodus 25:23-30.
Thoughts on the Passage
Matthew Henry suggests that the table on which the show-bread was to be continually placed indicates that not only is God a good householder, but that He always keeps a plentiful table. The entire world is His ‘tabernacle’ and He provides food for all the creatures of the earth. In the Old Testament, the show-bread was to be on the table, but not eaten while on the table, and afterward, only by the priests.

Henry says that to the table that Christ has spread for us in the new covenant, all real Christians are invited guests. And we are told to eat as His friends. I like his closing line, “What the law gave but a sight of at a distance, the gospel gives the enjoyment of and a hearty welcome to.”


Have we taken advantage of this incredible invitation?

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Ark of the Covenant, Mercy Seat, and Cherubim

Exodus 37:1-9:
This is a detailed account of how the Ark of the Covenant was made – all in accordance with God’s instructions. In particular, it is:
Verses 1-5: The Ark of the Covenant (according to the command and description in Exodus 25:10-16) and
Verses 6-9: The mercy seat (the gold lid to the Ark of the Covenant, according to the command and description in Exodus 25:17-22).
  
Thoughts on the Passage
Robert Jamieson points out that “to construct a figure, whether the body of a beast or a man, with two extended wings, measuring from two to three feet from tip to tip, with the hammer, out of a solid piece of gold, was what few, if any, artisans of the present day could accomplish.”

Matthew Henry points out that this account that Moses gives us here and in earlier chapters when God was giving him the specs, were of real importance to the ordinary Israelites who were not allowed to enter this part of the Tabernacle. Only the priests could enter and see these great works.
Important aspects of God’s communications to man are often repeated in the Bible. This is true of the instructions for the building of the Tabernacle. It is true for the various practices that the Israelites had to follow (as we will see later in the Old Testament). And it is true of the life, works, and words of Jesus as we note in the New Testament. We need to hear these things over and over in order to have them etched in our mind and hearts, and then to act upon them.

Here in these verses, says Henry, “we have an account of the making of the ark, with its glorious and most significant appurtenances, the mercy-seat and the cherubim. Consider these there together, and they represent the glory of a holy God, the sincerity of a holy heart, and the communion that is between them, in and by a Mediator.”

Henry goes on to state that the glory of a holy God dwells between the two cherubim. He is continually attended and adored by the blessed angels who are ready to act on God’s behalf as symbolized by their outspread wings.


The lesson for me here is that God wants His instructions to all of us followed precisely. And the ultimate product or result of following those instructions is that we attend to His Service totally. In doing that, we will find our true glory.

How do you see this passage?  Please share your thoughts, input, ideas, or questions.

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