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The relation of the work is still carried on through this Chapter; the principal things mentioned in it are, the ark, and mercy-seat; the table of show-bread with its vessels; the candlestick, with its lamps; the altar of incense, the holy oil, and the incense.
Let not the Reader think that what Moses repeats here, of the building and furniture of the tabernacle, is unnecessary. The Holy Ghost, it is evident, did not consider it to be so, when he graciously inspired Moses to commit it to writing. There is nothing in the holy word that can be said to be superfluous. And if it be said that God doth not forget our labour of love, surely we can never too much remember his acts of mercy. Philippians 3:1 ; Hebrews 6:10 .
We cannot sufficiently keep in view him, whom both the ark, and mercy-seat, typified. Jesus is the mercy-seat, or propitiation. 1 John 2:1 . And to the shelter of his righteousness was it not that Noah by faith fled? Genesis 7:1 with Hebrews 11:7 .
Was not the table of show-bread meant also to show forth the everlasting duration of Jesus as the bread of life to his people? The show-bread was always to be spread upon the table, and Jesus is always in the presence of God for us. But Reader, do not overlook the vast superiority of the gospel table to the law. The show-bread was always upon the table indeed, but it was only to be looked upon, not eaten, except by the priests: but under the gospel, Jesus is to be both looked upon, and received. See his words, Proverbs 9:5 .
Was not this candlestick an emblem of the light of the Holy Ghost, and of his sacred word? Hath not the church been enlightened with the illuminations of the Spirit, in all ages? Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:7 ; Psalms 119:105 . And are not the branches of the candlestick meant to show that the supply of believers is from Christ?. Zechariah 4:2-3 . But Reader! Do not forget that after all, a candlestick is but a faint light. Divine communications in this world are but as the light of a candle. The full day-light of glory, in the Lord Jesus, is reserved for the upper world. 1 Corinthians 13:12 .
Was not this incense altar a type of the Lord Jesus? Is he not both the altar and incense of his people? Hebrews 13:15 ; Revelation 8:3 .
Exodus 30:22 . How strikingly doth this holy oil represent the anointing gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost!
Reader! do not hastily pass over this Chapter, but pause, as you read, and remark as you go, how very precious ought he to be in his Church, and among his people, whom God the Holy Ghost was pleased to shadow forth by such a variety of representations. Oh! blessed Spirit, thou that art the glorifier of Christ Jesus, since thou hast been pleased to represent the Redeemer to thy Church by such a diversity of imagery, do thou unfold him to my heart as he is, and give me to look through the shadows to him who is the substance of all. Enable me to be looking at him, as my mercy-seat, my propitiation, my table of living bread, my altar of incense, my all: and so to live upon his fullness, and depend upon his righteousness, that I may be growing, up in him an holy temple to the Lord.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Exodus 37". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter