Exodus 25:23-30 God’s presence is manifested amid a people who is faithful and humble
Exodus 25:23-30 God’s presence is manifested amid people who is faithful and humble
23 “You shall make a table of acacia wood, two cubits long and one cubit wide and one and a half cubits high. 24 You shall overlay it with pure gold and make a gold border around it. 25 You shall make for it a rim of a handbreadth around it; and you shall make a gold border for the rim around it. 26 You shall make four gold rings for it and put rings on the four corners which are on its four feet. 27 The rings shall be close to the rim as holders for the poles to carry the table. 28 You shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold, so that with them the table may be carried. 29 You shall make its dishes and its pans and its jars and its bowls with which to pour drink offerings; you shall make them of pure gold. 30 You shall set the bread of the Presence on the table before Me at all times.
The Table of the Presence signifies God’s continuous presence with us. As we commune with Christ, He strengthens us with His eternal life. The bread signifies His faithfulness in loving us to the end. The Table of the Presence also signifies His humility in giving up His rights for our benefit. As we eat of the bread, we put on His faithfulness and humility to bring salvation to the world. Jesus overcame the darkness of the world not by physical might, but by divine power. Indeed, divine power follows on the heels of faithfulness and humility. If we follow Jesus in being faithful and humble, we will likewise overcome the world by destroying the devil’s dominion. Whenever faithful and humble believers gather, Christ is manifested in our midst in faithfulness, humility and divine power. Today’s devotion teaches us: God’s presence is manifested amid people who is faithful and humble.
The Table of the Presence was situated in the Holy Place opposite the golden lampstand.
It is made of acacia wood and covered with gold. It is approximately 1 by 0.5 meters and 0.6 meters in height.
The Table held the bread (“bread of the presence”) that comprises twelve loaves of bread (symbolising the tribes of Israel) set in two piles of six each. The table was also set with different kinds of dishes: pans, jars and bowls, all of which were made of gold. On Sabbath day, the priests would consume the wine of the drink offering and the bread at the table in the Holy Place (see Leviticus 24:8-9).
God’s presence is manifested amid people who is faithful and humble.
God’s covenantal Presence
The Table of the Presence depicts a covenantal meal between God and His people. As in the case of Moses, the meal was set right before Israel’s entrance into the promised land; before a time of great testing. Exodus 24:9-10 records God humbling Himself by dining with the people. From then on, God’s faithful presence was manifested in their midst.
The most vivid depiction of the covenantal meal is the Lord’s supper. The Lord’s supper was set at a time of great testing. Jesus was about to be arrested, and His disciples persecuted by the Jews. However, Jesus promised to be with them continuously through the Holy Spirit. The Table of the Presence signifies the faithful presence of Jesus with the disciples.
Communion with Christ brings eternal life
The Table of Presence holds the bread that signifies the life, virtues and power of Christ; eternal life. Hence, eating the bread at the Table is akin to eating Jesus’s flesh; His life and essence. Jesus said to the 5000 who ate the bread He provided for them,
I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever (eternal life); and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” – John 6:51
To eat bread in Jesus’s presence is to partake of His eternal life. This eternal life comprises Christ’s faithfulness and humility. Moments before the last supper, Jesus, having received all power from the Father put aside His garments and washed the disciples’ feet. He stooped so humbly even to wash the feet of Judas, His betrayer. Later at the supper, Jesus also served Judas a morsel of bread. Not only was Jesus humble in denying His rights to justice, but He is also faithful to love His disciples to the end (John 13:1b). His love for His disciples was seen by His sacrificial death on the cross. Indeed, the events surrounding the supper reveals Christ’s faithfulness and humility; eternal life. As we commune with Christ at the Table, He is humble and faithful to strengthen us just as He did for the disciples.
A man who is faithful and humble brings the presence of God
Jesus said, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” – Matthew 18:20. However, the church tends to see the gathering in Jesus’s name from a liturgical and theological perspective. Liturgy, theology and religious confessions do not usher in the presence of God. But God is present with those who are humble and faithful to God and one another. God is with Jesus and resurrected Him because He is faithful and humble to the end. The same can be seen in the case of Moses. God said concerning Moses’s faithfulness, “My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household.” – Numbers 12:7. And concerning his humility, Numbers records, “Now the man Moses was very humble, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.” – Numbers 12:3. God is with Moses to work great miracles because he is faithful and humble.
Faithfulness and Humility
Many view faithfulness to God as being committed to regular prayers and worship services. They see faithfulness as a continual confession of Jesus as the Son of God; a form of mental assent. Some are faithful in giving their time and resources to serve in a ministry. However, Jesus, who is called faithful and true (see Revelation 19:11) commands the faithful to love their friends by laying down their lives for them (see John 15:12-13).
Concerning humility, many see it simply as the opposite of self exaltation; to be modest by downplaying one’s strength. From God’s perspective, humility is seen through Jesus when He denied His rights for the benefit of others. Paul said,
Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philippians 2:3-8
Therefore, to be humble is to forego our rights, ideals and even our lives to do God’s will.
Faithfulness and humility bring divine authority to overcome the world
Jesus overcame the world of evil not through physical might, but by divine power. It is only by divine power that we destroy the devil’s dominion. The Father, having seen Christ’s faithfulness and humility, raised and seated Him on His right hand. The disciples evangelised the world not by the sword but by divine power. Indeed, divine power follows on the heels of faithfulness and humility. If we follow Jesus by being faithful and humble, we will likewise overcome the world of darkness. Jesus encouraged His disciple,
These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world…” – John 16:33
The Table of the Presence signifies Christ’s continuous communion with us. Whenever we gather in humility and faithfulness to one another, Christ is manifested in our midst through divine power.
Are you seated at the table of Christ among the faithful and humble? Let us serve one another faithfully and humbly as Christ has served us. Let us reach out to those who are less fortunate. Bear one another’s burdens and spur one another on by bringing out the best in each other. Let us not give up the struggle until Jesus returns.
Dear Lord, we desire to sit at your table to experience your faithfulness and humility. As we humble ourselves, empower us to minister to the community. As we stay faithful to the course, cause our labours to bear fruit. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.