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This chapter is but a continuation of the former. The subject is prosecuted concerning the work and materials of the temple; and here is described, the altar of brass, the molten sea, the lavers, candlesticks, and tables, together with the instruments of gold.
2 Chronicles 4:1
This altar of brass received the gifts and offerings of the people. How lovely a representation of Jesus, in whose hands, as mediator, all the offerings of his people must be placed. None cometh to the Father but by him. Moreover the largeness of it represents the largeness of the heart of Jesus. There is room enough in our Jesus for all his people. Add to this, the height of it pointed to the loftiness of our Great Saviour, who is both the sacrifice, and the sacrificer, and the altar, on whom all sacrifices were offered. And from this elevation of ten cubits high, every Israelite from the courts around might see the sacrifice, and behold the flame ascend before God. Oh! how very precious to see, with the eye of faith, the Lord Jesus going in before the mercy-seat with the offerings of his people.
And Reader! do you not believe that the faithful Israelites then understood all this with a reference to Jesus, and eyed the Lord Jesus in all as the great propitiation? Surely, if the earlier patriarchs offered all their sacrifices by faith in this great atonement, as we are assured they did, in those later ages, when Christ had been more fully and more openly preached in type and figure, we cannot but suppose, that the Holy Ghost had brought the minds of the people, more savingly acquainted with the substance to which the whole shadow ministered. Hebrews 9:28; Hebrews 9:28 .
Can anything be more similar, in figure and type, than this molten sea to the fountain opened in gospel-times for sin and for uncleanness? And observe the vast size of it, to denote the infinite fullness that there is in Jesus. Oh! for faith to wash and be clean in the blood of the Lamb! John 1:29 .
Observe, how all must be particular and express in pointing to gospel mercies. All must be washed, both priests, people, and sacrifices: for nothing but the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin. 1 John 1:7 .
I include all these under one view; for of the whole it may be said, as the apostle hath before remarked, concerning the tabernacle in the wilderness, of those we cannot now speak particularly. But of this we may be sure, the Holy Ghost graciously signified, that by the whole, and from the use of all of them, the grand lesson taught was, that the way into the holiest of all, was not yet made manifest, until Christ being come; an high priest of good things to come. Precious Jesus! who shall properly and fully estimate the preciousness of thy salvation shadowed forth through so many ages, and all completed by thine own perfect righteousness, and by that one offering of thyself once offered, whereby thou hast forever perfected them that are sanctified. Hebrews 10:14 .
READER! let us not dismiss this chapter, however short and imperfect our researches can go, in the discovery of spiritual blessings veiled under temporal ministrations, without first looking at the several things here consecrated to the service of the temple, with an eye to better things to come, and in reference to Jesus, and his church, and ministry. Was not the golden altar a beautiful emblem of the divinity of the Lord Jesus? It is the altar, we are told, which sanctifieth the gift: and surely it was the Deity of Jesus which gave dignity and efficacy to his complete redemption. Surely the altar represented Jesus in his person, blood, and sacrifice, as the incense ascending from it, became a lively emblem of the efficacy of his all-prevailing intercession; neither can we be at a loss to understand to what purpose the tables in the temple ministered, when we now behold the table of the Lord, with the standing ordinance of his holy supper, constantly presented to our view, as a memorial of his death, to be observed forever in his church. And the molten sea, with all the washings both of priests and people, as sweetly set forth the ordinance of baptism in the church of Jesus, which forms an entrance into the pale of the covenant by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, shed on the Lord's people abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Hail! thou all-blessed, all-precious Emmanuel! thou art the one great ordinance of heaven! in thee and thy finished work of salvation we behold all the services, ordinances, sacrifices, and temple-worship of the old church dispensation centre. In thee, dearest Lord, they all had their accomplishment. They were the shadow of good things to come: and thou art the substance. To thee they all point. By thee their efficacy is forever done away. And in thee their services are rendered no longer necessary. Thou art the end of all for righteousness to everyone that believeth; and in thy complete redemption-work we behold our souls justified before God. Everlasting praises be unto thee; O Lord, for all thou hast wrought and accomplished by thy blood!
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 2 Chronicles 4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30