Sermon #57†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† ††††††† Leviticus Sermons
†††† Title:† †††† The
Table of Showbread
†††† Text:†††††† Leviticus 24:5-9
†††† Subject:† The Typical Significance of The Table of Showbread
†††† Date:†††††† Sunday MorningóMarch 9, 2003
†††† Tape #††† X-47b
†††† Reading: Colossians 3:1-17
Listen carefully to these
seven statements. These are the things that I want fixed in your mind (I pray
that God the Holy Spirit has stamped them upon your hearts.) as we look at our
text in a moment.
who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are numbered among the elect of God:
chosen, redeemed, and called.
Godís elect are in Christ. Ė By Election. Ė By Regeneration. ĖBy Faith.
Godís elect are accepted in Christ, with Christ, for Christís sake, and as
Christ himself is accepted.
Godís elect are supplied and provided for by Christ.
Godís elect are safe and secure in Christ.
Godís elect are a part of that royal priesthood, described by Peter, who serve
God in the sanctuary.
all Godís elect are one in Christ. The Church of God is one body (the body of
Christ) with many members.
Our text is Leviticus
24:5-9. These verses of Scripture contain the instructions the Lord commanded
Moses to give to Aaron and the children of Israel regarding the table of
showbread in the tabernacle.
Pieces of Furniure
You will remember that there
were three pieces of furniture in the first section of the tabernacle, the
outer sanctuary. As the priest walked into that holy place, before the veil
that separated the holy place from the holy of holies and the ark of the
covenant, he would see these three things.
in the back, right in front of the veil, he would see the golden altar of
his left, he would see the golden candlestick.
on his right, he would see the table of showbread, with its twelve loaves of
bread in two rows, with golden dishes, golden bowls, and golden spoons, and
frankincense upon each row of bread.
This piece of furniture is
described in detail in Exodus 37:10-16.
37:10-16)† "And he made the table of
shittim wood (a wood that was not subject to decay for a
long, long time): two cubits (about 36 inches) was the length thereof,
and a cubit (about 18 inches) the breadth thereof, and a cubit and a half
(about 27 inches) the height thereof: (11) And he overlaid it with
pure gold, and made thereunto a crown of gold round about.
(12) Also he made thereunto a border of an handbreadth round about; and
made a crown of gold for the border thereof round about. (13) And
he cast for it four rings of gold, and put the rings upon the
four corners that were in the four feet thereof. (14) Over
against the border were the rings, the places for the staves to bear the
table. (15) And he made the staves of shittim wood, and
overlaid them with gold, to bear the table. (16) And he made the vessels
which were upon the table, his dishes, and his spoons, and his bowls,
and his covers to cover withal, of pure gold."
That is the physical
description of the table. In Leviticus 24:5-9, the Holy Spirit gives shows the
instructions Aaron was given concerning the table and its bread.
24:5-9)† "And thou shalt take fine
flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.
(6) And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table
before the LORD. (7) And 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. (8) Every sabbath he shall set it in order before
the LORD continually, being taken from the children of Israel by an
everlasting covenant. (9) And it shall be Aaron's and his sons'; 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."
Proposition: This golden table of showbread
and the bread upon it give us much typical instruction concerning our Lord
Jesus Christ and his bounteous provisions of grace for his people.
I want you to see that the golden
table of showbread is itself typical of our great Savior.
The name given to this
table, ďthe table of showbreadĒ (Num. 4:7), might better be translated,
ďthe table of the bread of presence.Ē It speaks of Christ ever present with God
and ever present with us. And the materials of the table clearly speak of our Redeemer.
It was made of Shittim wood, overlaid with pure gold. These were the very same
materials used to make the ark of the covenant.
A. The Shittim wood, a wood (like our cedar) that did not decay or rot, portrays our Saviorís humanity, which never saw corruption.
In order to redeem and save
us, the Son of God took on himself our nature. He became one of us. Yes, Jesus
Christ, our God, is a real man. He has taken into union with himself,
indivisibly and permanently, our human nature. He who would redeem man must
himself be a man. But this man was born of a virgin, and had no sin. He had no
sin, did not sin, and knew no sin. Yet, he was made sin for us, that we might
be made the righteousness of God in him.
Sin is that which has
corrupted Godís universe, corrupts our race, and shall at last corrupt our
bodies in the grave; but not Christís! Though he was made sin for us, when he
had put away our sins by the sacrifice of himself, he arose from the grave
before his body could see corruption. Now, yonder in heaven, seated upon the
throne of God is God in our nature, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ.
that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin!Ē
The Shittim wood overlaid with pure gold speaks of our Saviorís
perfect and eternal divinity.
That man who is our Savior
is God, perfectly and fully God, shining forth from eternity, and for evermore,
in the golden brilliance of his divinity. Though he were a perfect man, though
he had died as our substitute, his sacrifice could never have availed for our
eternal salvation, except he be himself God incarnate.
Well might the sun in
And shut his glories in
When God the mighty Maker
For man, the creatureís sin!
The table, wearing a crown of pure gold, speaks of Christís exaltation
and glory as our great King.
God the Father has made him both Lord and Christ. He has placed upon the head of the God-man, our Mediator, the crown of universal monarchy. He has given him power and dominion over all flesh, that he might give eternal life to all his redeemed ones. Yes, the God-man, our Savior, holds the reins of the universe in his hands. He rules the entire universe, absolutely, for the salvation and everlasting good of his people to the glory of God.
be sure you do not fail to see the
place where the table of showbread stood.
The table of showbread, the bread of presence, stood in the holy place in the tabernacle, before the presence of the Lord. The bread was, as it were, set before God himself. It stood there before the Lord God continually, as bread fit for God, offered to God, honored by God, and accepted by God. It stood there symbolically as the Bread of God. Now, turn to John 6:33, and hear the words of our Savior.
6:33)† "For the bread of God is
he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world."
The Lord Jesus Christ, the
Bread of Life for us (more about that later), is the very Bread of God. He is
the Food of heaven. That is to say, our all-glorious Christ (his person and
work) is he upon whom God feasts, delights, and finds satisfaction.
we are told that twelve cakes
(loaves) of bread were to be set upon the golden table (vv.
24:5-6)† "And thou shalt take fine
flour, and bake twelve cakes thereof: two tenth deals shall be in one cake.
(6) And thou shalt set them in two rows, six on a row, upon the pure table
before the LORD."
is the number of Godís elect (144,000).
Without question, these
twelve loaves of bread typify our Lord Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life, as we
have seen. But the fact that the bread is here specifically required to be in
twelve loaves makes it clear that the loaves represent Christ in connection
with his people, represented in
twelve tribes of Israel,
twelve names inscribed upon Aaronís breastplate,
twelve stones of the altar erected by Joshua when Israel crossed over Jordan,
twelve stones of Elijahís altar on Mt. Carmel before the prophets of Baal,
twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem,
the twelve gates of the city.
The twelve loaves in the
holy place, upon the table before God, tells us symbolically that the high
priest of God has an abundant supply for all whose names are inscribed upon his
breastplate. Therefore, none shall perish.
Hear our Savior, hear him,
needy souls, and rejoice. In our Fatherís house there is ďbread enough and
to spareĒ (Luke 15:17). The supply is abundant, super-abundant.
Notice that each loaf had ďtwo
tenth dealsĒ of fine flour, two omers. That was double any manís daily
provision of manna in the wilderness. In other words, in each loaf of bread,
sitting on the table in the holy place there was symbolically twice as much
bread for every person in Israel as he needed. ďWhere sin abounded, grace
did much more abound!Ē My Saviorís supply is infinite, boundlessly
infinite! And his supply is mine. His supply, my brother, my sister, is yours!
And it is a bountiful supply.
All grace (Eph. 1:3)!
†Ė All glory (John 17:22)!
†Ė All things (1 Cor. 3:21)!
Feasting on the Bread of
Jesus crucified, my soul is
Feasting on the Bread of
O wonderful and bountiful
Is there here a hungry soul?
Is there a poor, needy, starving sinner here today? Come, and eat. In Christ,
there is bread enough for you! There is such an infinite sufficiency and
abundance of life, of mercy, of love, of grace in Christ that, though untold
multitudes live by eating this Bread, the Bread is undiminished. There is still
just as much as in the beginning.
ďCome, now, let us reason
together.Ē You may not know that your name is in the Book of Life. You may
not know that your name is on the breastplate of our great, sin-atoning High
Priest. But this you should know (You should know it because our text and the
whole Word of God declares it.), there is plenty of Bread on Godís table,
plenty of Bread for your needy soul in Christ, and you are welcome to it. Come
and eat, and you will discover that the table was set specifically for you! If
you perish the fault will be all your own, and no one elseís.
Perhaps you think, ďBut Bro.
Don, no oneís hand was allowed to touch that bread except the priestís.Ē Satan
has a fiendish way of turning the truth of God into a lie and of making what
should be most encouraging horribly discouraging. Doesnít he? Yes, it is true,
no hand could touch that bread but the priestís. But that ought to tell you
that the Bread of Life is for sinners who need a Priest! The priest alone must
manage the table and keep bread on it all the time. The bread was in the holy
place, so that sinners could get it as they come to God by faith in Christ.
Provision for His Servants Ė Those who preach the gospel are to live by the
which is represented here, the salvation of Godís elect by the will of God, is
the bread is for us, it speaks of Christ who is our Bread..
Our text declares plainly
that none but Godís priests could eat this bread. The long and short of that is
this: Ė If I come to Christ the Bread of Life and eat him, I am, I must be, one
of those made to be in him ďa chosen generation and a royal priesthoodĒ
ďThe proof is in the
puddiní,Ē we are told. Well, in this case, the proof is in the Bread, in eating
the Bread of God (John 6:54-58).
6:54-58)† "Whoso eateth my flesh,
and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last
day. (55) For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
(56) He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I
in him. (57) As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the
Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. (58) This 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."
Come my soul, come my
brother, come my sister, come needy sinner. There is Bread abundant on the
table. There are twelve loaves. Each loaf has twice as much as you can take in.
The Bread sits on a table with four corners, pointing to sinners everywhere.
The Bread is there all the time. And the Table is the Kingís Table. Here,
Mephibosheth eats, with his mangled legs covered, as one of the Kingís sons!
Eat and be satisfied!
Then we are told that the
bread was to be set on the table in two rows (v. 6). Try to picture the scene. There is a priest,
Aaron or one of his sons, standing before this table with twelve loaves of
bread before him. There is Christ, standing in the holy place, ever busy, never
idle, his hands constantly and bountifully providing Bread for his people.
of His Presence
of His Tender Care
Now, watch this. The bread
was to be taken from the children of Israel (v. 8), because the Lord God would
have all his people know that it was for them. So, too, the Lord Jesus Christ,
the Bread of Life, is Bread taken from among men, that we might know that all
he does he does on our behalf.
89:19)† "Then thou spakest in
vision to thy holy one, and saidst, I have laid help upon one that is mighty;
I have exalted one chosen out of the people."
5:1-2)† "For every high priest
taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God,
that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins: (2) Who can have
compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he
himself also is compassed with infirmity."
IV.Fourth, it was required of God
that each row of bread had some
frankincense upon it for a memorial of burnt offering to the Lord
24:7)† "And 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."
The bread was to be eaten,
but the frankincense was to be burned. The frankincense speaks of our
acceptance with God and the acceptance of our worship, praise, and sacrifices,
the acceptance of our very prayers by Christ.
All Godís spiritual Israel, typified by the twelve loaves, are made through Christ a sweet savor to him. Our prayers and sacrifices, worship and service come up before God for a memorial of a sweet, acceptable savor to him (Acts 10:4; 1 Pet. 2:5).
10:4) †"And when he looked on him,
he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers
and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God."
Peter 2:5)† "Ye also, as lively
stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up
spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."
the Lord required Aaron to set
fresh bread on the golden table every sabbath (v. 8).
There is more here than
this, I am sure, but this is distinctly a word of instruction to Godís
servants. The bread was to be prepared before it was brought to the tabernacle.
Yet, it was to be freshly prepared. Then, every Saturday the priest was
required to set fresh bread on the table in the house of God.
So gospel preachers must
come to the house of God with fresh Bread and set that upon the table before
the Lord, feeding his children with the Bread of God. Godís servants dare not
bring stale bread to his people, and dare not bring any other food to feed
them. Displays of oratory eloquence, great learning, and vain philosophy,
theological speculation, denominational dogma, and religious ceremony, history,
moralisms, and civic duties are all a breach of this perpetual statute. The
only bread with which Godís servants are to feed his children is Jesus Christ
and him crucified, the Bread of Life.
VI.Sixth, as the bread was brought
out before the people and placed in the holy place on the golden table on the
sabbath day, so our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Bread of God, shall be brought out on the morning of that great
eternal sabbath awaiting us and set gloriously before his people forever.
What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see.
I shall look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His
What a day, glorious day
that will be!
Seventh, the two rows of bread,
six loaves to a row, sitting upon that golden table, suggests the blessed
fellowship, unity, and oneness of Godís church.
Godís Israel in this gospel
age is just one tribe.
Corinthians 10:16-17)† "The cup of
blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The
bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? (17) For
we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all
partakers of that one bread."
We are one in Christ. This is ouró
These loaves sat on the
table one beside the other, each closely connected with the other. We read in Colossians 3 the
words "one another" again and again. "Lie not one to
another; forbearing one another, and forgiving one another;" "in
all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another." That is the way
believers are to live. We live not for ourselves, but to love and serve one
another (Eph. 4:1-5:2).
4:1-8)† "I therefore, the prisoner
of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are
called, (2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering,
forbearing one another in love; (3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of
the Spirit in the bond of peace. (4) There is one body, and one Spirit,
even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; (5) One Lord, one
faith, one baptism, (6) One God and Father of all, who is above
all, and through all, and in you all. (7) But unto every one of us is
given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. (8) Wherefore
he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts
4:11-16)† "And he gave some,
apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and
teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come
in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a
perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That
we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about
with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the
truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
(16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that
which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure
of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in
4:25-27)† "Wherefore putting away
lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of
another. (26) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon
your wrath: (27) Neither give place to the devil."
4:29-32)† "Let no corrupt
communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of
edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (30) And grieve
not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
(31) Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil
speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: (32) And be ye kind one
to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake
hath forgiven you."
5:1-2)† "Be ye therefore followers
of God, as dear children; (2) And walk in love, as Christ also hath
loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for
a sweetsmelling savour."
One last thought, Godís
Israel, Godís church is ever one before him. These twelve loaves,
covered with pure frankincense, arranged in divine order on the table of pure
gold, standing in the holy place before the Lord, standing in the light of the
golden candlestick, display the indissoluble unity of Godís Israel. Even after
the revolt of the ten tribes there were twelve loaves on the table (2 Chron.
13:11), because, ďthe purpose of God according to electionĒ stands
unaltered (Rom. 9:11; 2 Tim. 2:19). The Church of God is one body, the body of
Christ, already seated with him in glory. Not one member shall be severed from
that body. All Israel shall be saved.
This is the everlasting
memorial of Godís honor and glory. Like the twelve stones taken out of Jordan and
laid together as a memorial to God, and those twelve stones erected as an altar
by Elijah before the altars of Baal, these twelve loaves in the tabernacle
declare to the glory of God our Savior, whose name is called Jesus, ďHe shall save his people from their sins!Ē