TABLE OF SHEWBREAD
The first article of furniture we witness upon entering the Inner Court (Holy Place) is the Table. He is the bread of life. After the Logos, the Lamb and the Laver comes the Loaves. It is Christs desire to sup with His Beloved. With desire I have desired to eat
(Luke 22:15) He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love (Song 2:4).
It is here that we will find communion and dominion, for this table of bread stands with its feet on top the world. It is only as we commune with Christ that we will be able to stand for Christ. The Bread is His Word and we need it daily in order to be strong, healthy believers. When Adam walked with God in the cool of the day he experienced communion. As a result he was commanded to take authority over all this earthly creation-that was dominion. Fellowship with God at the Table of Shewbread brings the same authority into our lives.
TYPOLOGICAL OF CHRIST
There may be no greater allegorical portrait of Christ in the Bible. The Table s Christ. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever
(John 6:51) As in the Outer Court there were the wave loaves of the meal offering, now in the Inner Court there is the shewbread of our daily communion.
APPLICABLE TO THE BELIEVER AND CHURCH
We not only have a daily need to feed on Christs life giving Word but we also are responsible to carry His Word to the world. This table has four legs, the number of the universal Gospel. Divine nourishment is available for whosoever will, so it is our duty as priests to take hold of the table staves and carry this life giving bread to the spiritually starved masses. Paul wrote that, we being many are one bread and are all partakers of that one bread (1 Corinthians 10:17). Christs body was broken for the churchs sake on Calvary. We then must respond by being broken for the worlds sake.
Scripture Text/ Exodus 25:23-30
Note that the divine pattern given in Exodus 25 begins with the Ark of the Covenant and Mercy Seat before offering to man the Golden Table. Broken Law must be atoned for with Mercy Seat blood before man can ever know communion or fellowship with God. He first gave Himself for our sins so that we could have fellowship with Him.
To sit at the table with a King there must be an invitation and it is assumed that the invited one would prepare properly for the honored event. Remember that we are expected to wash at the Laver of Brass before ever daring to approach the table of the King. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread
(1 Corinthians 11:28).
ACACIA WOOOD/ OVERLAID WITH GOLD
Once again we parallel this with Christ who is both Man (wood) and God (gold). In this dual nature He can serve as a sympathetic priest for His people and also as a faithful witness for His Father. He becomes the one and only true mediator between God and man. Is this table gold wood or wood gold? Both! Christ is the good man but also the God man. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself
He shares both natures-all God and all man.
When two sup together they become one in covenant. Men living in Jesus day were very discriminate about whom they would eat with - This man receives sinners, and eats with them (Luke 15:2). By sharing a meal with us He is covenanting with us and we with Him.
This wood/gold symbol also reflects the nature of the believer.
As he feeds on Gods Word he is changed
from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). Remember that acacia wood is gnarled, twisted, hard to work with wood, a type of our human nature overlaid with Gods presence. What was brass in the Outer Court has now become gold. The Christian believer is becoming more like Christ, leaving the brass of condemnation behind to embrace the gold of Christ-likeness.
2 Cubits X 1 Cubit - Which equals two square cubits. Two is the biblical number for agreement or witness. Jesus sent His disciples out to witness two and two (Luke 10:1). In this we witness of the Word that we carry, as the Table witnesses of the bread upon it. The glory is not in the Table but in the Bread. We preach not ourselves but Christ Jesus the Lord (2 Corinthians 4:5). Also, two stands for agreement - can two walk together except they be agreed? If any two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything
(Matthew 18:19) Believers say amen in agreement with Gods Word. And it is in the agreement of believers, where two or three are gathered together in His name that Jesus is there in their midst.
The Table stands 1½ cubits tall, around 27 inches. Thats rather short (low enough for small children). Communion with Christ is accessible to all ages. BIG people have to humble themselves and bow to access this table.
Note also that the number 1½ is seen in all three Tabernacle settings. In the Outer Court the Grate of the Brazen Altar was placed at a cubit and a half, as was the Mercy Seat in the Holy of holies. The same was true of the Table in the Inner Court. 1½ is the number for Gods standard of righteousness in all stages of Christian growth.
CONSIDER: #1 - God the Father, #2 - God the Son, #3 - God the Spirit.
1½ cuts the three perfectly in two. Was not the Second Person of the Trinity cut off in the midst of His days? As the bread was broke in two and the veil was rent in two, so Messiah was cut off out of the land of the living (Isaiah 53:8), cut off, but not for himself (Daniel 9:25). His years were cut in half at the cross. This is the standard (1½ cubits) that makes grace possible at the Brazen Altar, which makes communion possible at the Table and makes eternal glory possible at the Mercy Seat.
Remember our dispensational study of the Tabernacle. The Outer Court represented the Age of Law, 1,500 years from Moses to Christ; the Inner Court, Age of Grace, 2,000 years of the Church on earth; then the Holy of holies, was the 1,000 year rule of Christ on earth. In each era Gods standard for righteousness remains the same - one and a half cubits - Christs death on the Cross. Look at that theme as it points in all chronological directions,
Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8)
CROWNS OF GOLD
This is a kings table. Kings and priests dine here.
Notice in verse 25 that there is an exterior crown, making this a table for kings to feed at. Then measuring a handbreadth within there is another crown - two crowns. Jesus is crowned with many crowns (Revelation 19:12). The fact that this table has a crown and then another crown implies that we are beholding the King of kings (Revelation 19:16, 1 Timothy 6:15). There is no such glorious revelation in the Outer Court. Men must come into a deeper walk to behold such beauties in Jesus.
The Church shares in His crown. We will see this also in the crown of the Golden Altar a few pages later. We prefaced this chapter by saying that this table offers communion and dominion. Those who feed on the life-giving bread of the Word are given kingly authority through Christ. And hath made us kings and priests... (Revelation 1:6) Priests sacrifice and worship but kings rule and reign. Our communion with Christ gives us the ability to reign in life by one, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).
This authority is emphasized further in that the Table has feet. Throughout the Bible feet symbolize authority and dominion - And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church... (Ephesians 1:22). Note also Genesis 3:15, Psalm 8:6, 47:3, 110:1, 1 Corinthians 15:27, etc.
The parallels are easily understood. When we feed on the table bread (the Word) we are empowered with Christs executive authority (ambassadors of Christ) and take our position standing on top the struggles of life. The feet of this table stand on top of wilderness sand
trials and tests of life. There are four feet - four is the number of the universal gospel (it saves in all four directions) - and it corresponds with the four-fold realm of Christs authority,
Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion
And that number four is seen again in a later Ephesians chapter as,
"...principalities...powers...the rulers of the darkness of this world
spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). All these demonic authorities are under our feet. Peter said that angels, authorities and powers are made subject unto him (1 Peter 3:22).
In verse 26 of our Exodus text Moses speaks of four rings
3 X 4 = 12, the number representing the perfect government of God among men.
We need to understand this about dominion. Gods perfect government isnt advanced by military might or religious orthodoxy like the State-controlled churches of Catholic and Anglican history. The Table of Shewbread teaches communion, not conquest. The dominion given is not a dominion over people but over demonic strongholds and unseen satanic forces.
The staves, or gold covered, acacia wood staffs, were placed through the rings on the corners for the purpose of carrying the table during the Hebrews many wilderness journeys. Almost all of the furniture have similar rings and staves for carrying. We believers are to carry the precious Bread with us as we journey.
The four rings kept the table in balance as they traveled. We are to preach a balanced Gospel, both positives and negatives, dos and donts, law and grace, etc. So many have a lopsided gospel, emphasizing one doctrine or area of theology over another. Paul rejoiced that he had given the Ephesians the whole counsel of God. Twelve separate loaves implies a variety of perspectives on the Word.
This particular bread is to be placed on the table before me always (vs 30). Every seven days it is exchanged for fresh bread. The preacher is to serve a fresh word every Sabbath. The Word is to be partaken of daily, not just a sporadic nibble every two or three Sundays.
The odd word shewbread literally means the bread of faces. It is the showing forth bread, the feeding of revelation. At this table Jesus reveals the various facets of His Person and work. It was in breaking of bread that the Emmaus road disciples eyes were opened to Jesus (Luke 24:35). Likewise we behold a multitude of faces of the Lord as we feast from His Word. Moffatt calls it the Presence Bread. The Amplified Bible uses, bread of the Presence. This sweet presence and many revelations of Christ also can never be experienced by the one content to live in the Outer Court. If, as the Grecians intimated to Phillip, we would see Jesus, we must visit this holy place of communion. The Table of Shewbread pictures the Eucharist, or the New Testament communion service as well as our daily feasting on the bread of life. Jesus said, ...man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Secondary Text/ Leviticus 24:5-9
TYPOLOGICAL OF CHRIST
Every process in the preparation and service of this shewbread sculpts the image of Jesus Christ. In order to make bread, the corn of wheat must first die (John 12:24). The grain then must be ground to powder. Jesus soul was crushed in Gethsemane. The recipe called for fine flour. Here too is Christ, white, holy, sifted, no chaff, hulls or husks found within Him. He was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Pilate sifted through the white flour of Jesus character and declared - I find no fault in this man!
These were unleavened cakes. Christ was free from the leaven of sin - who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth (1 Peter 2:22). Water was added to the flour to create its texture and consistency. As water is a type of the Holy Spirit we find that Jesus offered himself through the eternal Spirit.
The loaves were baked on a grill over fire, which would have striped the backside of the cakes. The front side, also, like a saltine cracker, would have been pierced and perforated in several places to facilitate proper baking. How much like Christ who was wounded for our transgressions
bruised for our iniquities
and by his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5). So the covenant promise of the golden Table is forgiveness of sin, soundness of mind and healing for the body. 1,500 years before the Healer walked the streets of Jerusalem the Pattern had already prefigured His healing virtue and declared the covenant promise of divine healing for all who would receive it. In this we find that healing is in fact the childrens bread.
Calvary was the oven. He endured the scorching hot wrath of God on that Cross for all, but coming through the ordeal of crucifixion He now can satisfy every hungry soul that comes to Him.
I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger... (John 6:35)
There were two tenth deals of flour in each of the twelve loaves. Thats about a gallon of flour in each loaf. Gods provision is never skimpy. El Shaddai always gives us more than enough!
The blessings of the Inner Court are always granted in abundance. Jesus called it life and that more abundantly. The loaves are almost as large as the table itself. Gods super-provision always outweighs mans need.
Further, there are two rows with six loaves stacked on each row, totaling twelve. That tells us that there is enough of Jesus to satisfy all - the Twelve tribes of Israel (Old Testament) and the Twelve Apostles (New Testament). When Jesus broke the lads lunch pail bread and miraculously fed five thousand men, the disciples gathered twelve baskets full of the remaining fragments. Here again is the number twelve-fullness of provision.
The two rows were topped with hot frankincense. This has several meanings. This sweet fragrance speaks of Christs prayer life. It speaks of the persecutions that rested upon Him. In another sense it pictures the Holy Ghost resting upon Him (Luke 4:18). As we come to the table of the Lord prayer and praise should be offered in accordance to our receiving of the Word. Paul taught that our daily bread is sanctified by the word of God and prayer (1 Timothy 4:5).
So when the priest entered the Holy Place he was immediately struck by the brilliance of this golden Table. What did he see? Bang! There He is - Jesus - the universal Gospel, the King of kings, the Bread of life, the One wounded for our transgressions and striped for our healing, the Man with the Holy Ghost resting upon Him!
APPLICABLE TO THE BIBLE
These loaves were stacked one atop the other. Historical accounts picture a thin gold sheet in between each loaf. In our study of the Bible (the Word) we assimilate it one bite at a time, loaf by loaf - precept upon precept
line upon line, here a little, and there a little (Isaiah 28:10).
Every Sabbath he shall set it in order before the Lord
Growth in the Word requires order. Bible encounters are not to be spasmodic or accidental. And thou shalt bring in the table, and set in order the things that are to be set in order upon it
(Exodus 40:4) The disciples life is a disciplined life. During the wilderness years when feeding on manna, the Hebrews were to gather a certain rate every day. Jesus taught us also to pray, Give us day by day our daily bread
(Luke 11:3) Communion at the Table of Shewbread must be consistent for their to be spiritual health.
Finally, this is to be an offering made by fire unto the Lord
We are to serve this bread hot! The ministry of the Word requires the utmost zeal, determination and passion
an offering of fire.
PROPHETIC OF THE LORDS SUPPER
This table is for Aaron and his sons. The Lords table is not offered to the world. Only the repentant are able to appropriate it - ye cannot be partakers of the Lords table, and of the table of devils (1 Corinthians 10:21). SALVATION is for the whole world, but SUPPER is only for the Redeemed. Those who play games with this table and do not correctly discern the body of Christ do so to their own condemnation. So we need to judge ourselves at the Laver so that we can move confidently to the Fathers Table and receive nourishment and healing.
The Table is set on the right side of the Holy Place, which is pointed toward the North. The tribe of Dan was encamped to the North. Dan means judging. This side of the tent always made the priest think of judgment and self-examination. Paul alluded to this concept when he said that if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged (1 Corinthians 11:31). We learned about self-examination at the Laver, but it doesnt stop there. Until a Christian is perfected in eternity he will continually have to judge himself because the flesh will always seek to regain control.
An interesting thought - there are no chairs positioned at the Table of Shewbread. The priests were to remain standing as they partook of the meal. In the Inner Court, the 2,000 year Church Age, we are not afforded the luxury of sitting. We are to be on our toes, ready to witness, ready to move with the cloud of God, always watching for the return of the Bridegroom. Paul taught that as often as you eat this bread
ye do show the Lords death till he come (1 Corinthians 11:26).
ALL CHRISTIAN SERVICE FLOWS FROM OUR COMMUNION WITH JESUS!
In the handbreadth wide area encircling the Table, between the two crowns, is where the pitcher of wine and cups and other utensils were placed. These crowns kept the vessels from falling during their wilderness travels, even as Jesus is able to keep you from falling
Moses mentioned such things as dishes, spoons, covers and bowls (Exodus 25:29) in relation to the Table. This implies that there are a variety of ways of serving His Table. The Holy Spirit equips a wide variety of ministries all of which are involved in the preparation and distribution of the elements of bread, wine, oil and incense.
But of major importance is the fact that all other ministries are extensions of the communion table. The oil that fills the Candlestick lamps was held in the bowls on the Table. The oil proceeded from the Table to the Candlestick. In other words, it is from our communion with Christ that the Holy Spirit gives us anointing to shine as a witness for Him.
Also, the incense for the Golden Altar is stored on the Table between the two crowns. Therefore, our worship is an outflow of our communion with Christ. How can we truly worship One who we never sup with? How can we presume to pray to Him if were not willing to commune with Him? All so called worship that does not flow in tandem with spiritual communion at His table is a farce.
Then consider that the priests wine flask and cups were situated within the gold crowns. Fellowship with Christ brings joy. The intoxicating power of the Holy Spirit seen on the Day of Pentecost when bystanders reasoned, these men are full of new wine, is an experience that comes only from joyous fellowship with God at His table. We could certainly use some more of that spiritual drunkenness. Billy Graham once preached that the believers in the Upper Room appeared drunken while todays believers just look passed out!