The Tabernacle, The Table of Showbread Part 2, - Lesson 22
We have spoken of the Table of Showbread as a small table whose foundation was of shittim wood with an outer covering of pure gold.
This pairing of these two materials speak of the deity and humanity of Christ.
It speaks of God coming to this earth taking upon himself flesh that he might have the blood of man to shed for the sins of the world.
The table was encircled by two crowns which spoke of Christís role as both Priest and King for today he is my intercessor and tomorrow he will rule this earth.
Since every piece of furniture in the tabernacle speaks of Christ many of the pieces share similarities.
As was true in the Ark of the Covenant, the table of incense and the altar, the table of Showbread had four rings in its corners.
The number four is usually associated with the Earth.
The earth has four seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall, it has four directions, north, south, east and west, it has four phases of the moon, new moon, half-moon waxing, full moon, and half-moon waning, and four elements, earth, fire, water and air.
Revelation 7:1 tells us of four angels standing ready at the four corners of the earth to release the four winds of destruction.
The Table of Showbread pictures Christ, so everything about the table tells us of Christ even in the fact that it has four gold rings, four corners, four feet.
If we connect that number to the number that is so prominently displayed in earthly things we can see that the table of Showbread reveals Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, as connected to an earthly ministry.
As the table is in the Holy Place to feed the Priests, He is that which God has given to feed the earth for He is the Bread of Life.
We know of many efforts to feed the world with the worldís food, but the food that the world truly needs is the Bread which is extended by the Father to the world in the person of Jesus Christ.
Jesus intends for the world to be fed and he began his worldwide ministry to feed the people by commissioning the disciples in:
Mark 16:15 to: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature, which means to give to all the Bread of Life.
Every dollar that we give in Missionary support should go toward providing that eternal bread to the starving of the world for anyone who does not feed on the Bread of Life is starving.
The four feet of the table resting on the earth can remind us of the feet of Christ who walked this earth, feet that had no place of rest to call their own.
The four feet can also remind us that God choose to tell us of Christís earthly ministry by telling of it in four Gospels accounts.
The four feet can also bring to mind that Christ walks with another, that Christ walks with me and in that walk feeds me daily with the bread of life, instructing me in all things that brings me true life.
The four gold rings speak of the deity or divine nature of Christ.
Their circular construction symbolizes eternity, having no beginning nor ending for the Lord Jesus Christ is from everlasting to everlasting.
Now, of course, the four rings mounted at the corners, are fit for the staves of shittim wood overlaid with gold, staves to bear the table from God directed place to God directed place.
Again, here we have the thought of incorruptible wood which symbolizes humanity, overlaid with the pure gold which symbolizes deity.
Another beautiful picture of Christ, the God-Man.
The purpose of the Staves was for men to carry the Table of Bread in the wilderness wanderings.
What a picture this is when you see it as the Gospel being carried by men throughout the world, a Gospel, God given to feed the world the Bread of Life.
Jesus Himself was a "pilgrim" and a "stranger" here in His earth-walk and He gave the church the mission to follow Him, by his example, and walk this earth giving out the Bread of Life to a hungry and dying world.
Christís walk is foreshadowed in the transporting of the table of Showbread, for Moses was given definite instructions concerning its movement from place to place in the wilderness.
We read of this in Numbers 4.
Verse 5, And when the camp setteth forward, Aaron shall come, and his sons,
And verses 7-8, And upon the table of Shewbread they shall spread a cloth of blue, and put thereon the dishes, and the spoons, and the bowls, and covers to cover withal: and the continual bread shall be thereon:  And they shall spread upon them a cloth of scarlet, and cover the same with a covering of badgers' skins, and shall put in the staves thereof.
In transit the Table was covered with the following coverings:
It first was covered with a cloth of blue.
The blue cloth can be seen as a type of the Holy Spirit who was upon the true Bread, for Jesus said in Luke 4:18, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
The color of blue is also seen as the color of heaven which speaks of Christ as the Lord from Heaven as Paul stated in:
Scarlet is typical of blood sacrifice and speaks to us of the lamb of God.
For Jesus was the sacrificial lamb whose blood was scarlet.
Though your sins be as scarlet they shall be white as snow.
The final covering was badgerís skins.
These are typical of God who is over all and speaks of a third aspect of Christ.
For in Christ there is no natural beauty to the unregenerate man who only lives an outward life and hides his face from him, esteeming him not.
Badger skins were the same covering that was over the Ark when it was in transport.
There were three types of vessels used in connection with the Table of Showbread.
These are the vessels the prophet Isaiah referred to when he said "be ye clean, that bear the vessels of the Lord (52:11).
Along with the description of the table in Exodus 25:23-30, Moses was told to make these vessels.
Exodus 25:29-30, And thou shalt make the dishes thereof, and spoons thereof, and covers thereof, and bowls thereof, to cover withal: of pure gold shalt thou make them. 30And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me always.
These vessels were used for holding meal, for meal mingled with oil for what is called meat offerings and for holding wine used in drink offerings.
The spoons were hollow vessels of gold with incense in them.
While the Priests ate at the Table of Showbread, in the light of the Golden Candlestick, they burnt incense unto the Lord at the Golden Altar or table of incense.
So the picture given in the Holy Place is that three articles of furniture show us that as we eat at His Table in the light of His Presence, we are to send up prayer as incense rises, in worship and adoration to the Lord.
We have spoken of the table of showbread but today we must also speak of the bread of the table, for God, in Exodus 25:30 has commanded:
And thou shalt set upon the table Showbread before me always.
We are to focus on the bread and the Bible gives us names of the bread that we might better understand its purpose.
The word "Showbread" means to "tell forth" or "declare."
It is in bread form the words commanded to the disciples: Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
It speaks to us of Jesus, the New Testament Bread of Life who showed Himself to not only His disciples but to the entire world and commands believers to continue that showing to the world.
Not only was the bread called showbread but it was also called The Bread of God in Leviticus 21:21.
This Bread is on His table and through it He offers fellowship to the Priests of the Old Testament and the priest-believers of the New Testament.
It is called the Continual Bread in Numbers 4:7; 2 Chronicles 2:4 and Leviticus 24:8.
This Bread was to be before the Lord continually.
Believers find Christ the continual daily Bread.
Matthew 6:11 tells us to ask God to give us this day our daily Bread.
This prayer is not only for the bread that satisfies the body but more importantly it is the bread that satisfies the spirit for it is the bread that speaks of Christ.
And it is a daily bread, it is like the manna that was provided in the wilderness, it is continual bread for God does not give bread for days at a time but desires to feed us daily with fresh bread.
Men try to make bread that does not stale but donít we most love fresh bread, daily bread, bread that is new each day.
Every time we eat bread it ought to remind us of the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.
Jesus said we are to take up his cross daily and follow him.
Luke 9:23, And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
Daily we are to sit at Jesus feet and be fed bread that we may be equipped to take up our cross.
Christ, like fresh bread, is to be new to us each day.
Also the Showbread was to be set on the table in order so it was a bread of order or arrangement.
Exodus 40:22,23, And he (Moses) put the table in the tent of the congregation, upon the side of the tabernacle northward, without the veil. 23And he set the bread in order upon it before the LORD; as the LORD had commanded Moses.
Just as there was order at the Table in the Old Testament there is to be order concerning the New Testament Communion Table of the Lord as described in 1 Corinthians 11.
All of these various aspects of truth seen in these titles for the Showbread are symbolic of Communion.
The Lord communed with His Priests through the bread.
They were partakers of Him.
What we eat becomes a part of our being and nature.
Believers in Christ are partakers of the divine nature when we partake of his body.
John 6:53-57, Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 54Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. 55For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. 56He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. 57As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. 58This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
And in 2 Peter 1:4, Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Now God was very specific about the bread that was to be presented to him continually.
For He said to Moses in Leviticus 24:5-9, And thou shalt take fine flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake. 6And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table before the LORD. 7And thou shalt put pure frankincense upon each row, that it may be on the bread for a memorial, even an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 8Every sabbath he shall set it in order before the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an everlasting covenant. 9And it shall be Aaronís and his sonsí; and they shall eat it in the holy place: for it is most holy unto him of the offerings of the LORD made by fire by a perpetual statute.
First they were to take fine flour, which begins, as a whole kernel of wheat.
In order to make this wheat useable in bread and other cooking the wheat must be crushed to fine powder.
Thus, fine flour speaks to us of the trials, the testing, temptations of the Lord Jesus Christ as the corn of wheat, bruised and broken to become bread to us.
It also speaks of the believers testing, trials and temptations that mold us into the image of the Bread, Jesus Christ!
As in fine flour, there was nothing rough or uncouth in His sinless and perfect humanity.
And that also is to apply to all of us who are in Christ!
Now in order for the bread to become eatable it must be baked by fire.
How this process speaks to us of the intense sufferings of the Lord Jesus Christ, not only as He walked upon this earth but as he hung upon the cross.
It also reveals to us a type of the work of the Holy Spirit as FIRE in the life of the believer to make us palatable in the hands of God.
For fire reminds us of the fire that tries every manís work of what sort it is.
The bread baked by the Priests was to be perfectly done so that its color was the same on top and bottom.
There was to be no burnt place, and the bread was to be evenly baked throughout.
It was to be a perfectly cooked loaf symbolizing the perfect man Jesus Christ.
This is the picture given to us in the New Testament for our work is pictured as being tried by fire.
What sort are we?
God puts us through the heat that is caused by the oven of trials and tests, tribulation, and persecution.
These trials are for our own good, so that we can come out a "golden" color, beautifully and exquisitely cooked, until "done."
As Paul declared in I Corinthians 3:13, Every manís work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every manís work of what sort it is. 14If any manís work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any manís work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Are your trials and tests perfecting you?
How far are you in the baking process? Half baked?