The Bread of Presence

In the tabernacle stood a table—not impressive in size. It was only about three feet long, one and a half wide, and roughly 29 inches high. But it was covered in gold, and it was an important piece of furniture.

The table held bread in the presence of the Lord. The bread of the Presence was not to feed God. That concept was present among surrounding nations—their gods needed food, so the people brought food to the temple. You may hear that theory about the bread (and the sacrifice of animals) in the worship of Israel, but that is not true. God has no need of food from his people, Psalm 50:7-15. Continue reading “The Bread of Presence”

The Golden Lampstand

A good architect gives thought to lighting. But the golden lampstand in the holy place of the tabernacle, Exodus 25:31-40, was made for deeper reasons than aesthetics.

The lampstand looks back to the source of light. Light marked the beginning of God’s creative work. “Let there be light” was the creative word of the first day. The same Hebrew noun as is used repeatedly in Genesis 1 is Moses’ choice to describe the light given by the lampstand. When God dwells symbolically in the tabernacle in the midst of the camp of Israel, his sanctuary is not to be in darkness. All night long the lamps were kept burning, Exodus 27:20-21.

The lampstand was made to reflect the perfection of Eden. Without being too speculative, it appears that there is a resemblance, a conscious reflection, between the original tree of life and the lampstand, with blossoms incorporated into its construction. I was formed of gold—75 pounds of gold. Continue reading “The Golden Lampstand”

Your Good Confession

Timothy was unique, but the confession that he made was not. In 1 Timothy 6:11-13 Paul calls you to hold to your confession.

Keep your good confession. You have made a good confession. Timothy had made a good confession. Paul may be looking back to Timothy’s ordination, but more likely to his baptism. This young man, son of a Greek father and Jewish mother (Acts 16:1), had learned God’s Word from his mother and grandmother. But as a young man he had heard the good news of Jesus Christ and had responded in faith. Included also is the life that Timothy had continued to live before the Lord and his people. You have confessed Christ before many witnesses. Witnesses summon you to remember what you have promised. They remind you of the faithfulness of your God. See Deuteronomy 32:1. Make yours a good confession, one to which you remain true. Your confession is not simply empty words, but it must be something seen in your daily life. Congregation, remember that you are witnesses! You have a responsibility to encourage those who have professed their faith and even to call them to account. You can remind a baptized child of what it means that God has marked him as one who belongs to him. Continue reading “Your Good Confession”