“And thou shalt set upon the table showbread before me always” (Exodus 25:30)
Many of you have heard the expression “show me the money”. While money is often referred to as “bread”, I can honestly say that I too am seeking bread. So please show me the bread! As I ponder the whole notion of the showbread, I am amazed when I think of the fact that God told the people of Israel to sacrifice and put twelve loaves of bread in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle. It was to stay there for seven days. On the seventh day the bread was to be eaten by the Priest only. After being laid out before the Lord it became commonly known as the “Bread of Presence”.
The priests were instructed to place twelve loaves of the showbread upon the table. I believe the twelve here represents the number of the tribes of Israel, and it symbolically sends a clear message that there is plenty of bread for everyone, every nation, every tribe, and every believer. Not only is there plenty, but this bread is for every priest to eat. There is enough to satisfy every need, every hunger, every problem, and every dilemma. This “bread” is the Bread of life, it never loses its taste or flavor, and it never loses its grace. Don’t take my word for it, you’re in the Holy Place, why don’t you taste and see?
If you see around you all that is good, all that is wonderful, and you can declare that this is the Lords doing and it is marvelous in your eyes, you are in the Holy Place. You see God wanted a place that He could dwell continuously, so he instructed Moses to build Him a tabernacle. He was very specific in His instructions regarding how it should be built, what should be put in it, and where everything should be placed. God has always been very specific and very intentional with anything that he constructs, especially any place that He has chosen to live permanently. As living tabernacles of the Lord’s presence, God has fearfully and wonderfully designed and laid out every cell of our being with unique DNA construction. Every character and physical trait was fashioned and formed by the Lord, the color of our hair, the shape of our mouth, the length of our legs and the mental capacity of our brains, our ability to see, to comprehend, to write, to speak, to dance, to sing, our ability to design, build, implement, administrate or legislate, our ability to teach, preach, prophesy and help others has all been well thought out and ordered before the foundations of the world. Even as He was forming you in your mother’s womb, he knew what you would need to accomplish God’s will for your life. Either you will use those character and physical traits along with Gods’ gifts to entertain and draw others to you or you will use them to draw others to the Lord. The gifts are without repentance, in essence, God will not change His mind and remove them from you. You can use that master mind of yours to create all kinds of wicked devices, you can use your feet to run to evil, and your hands that were created large and strong enough to carry groceries to the poor, to hit a woman or abuse a child, or you can use everything that you are and have to the glory of God.
You see, the showbread was presented to the Lord. It was to be baked without any leaven. Leaven, as we know it today is yeast. When a baker takes a little yeast and puts it in the dough it makes the whole loaf of bread rise. When Jesus spoke about leaven he was referring to a small item pervading and infiltrating the entire thing by its influence. Jesus knew that all bread was not good for you. In Matthew 16:7 Jesus warned against the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. He was specifically charging them to beware of their hypocritical doctrines. In essence, doctrines that were puffed up and full of hot air. Doctrines inflated with lies and deceit, bloated with pretense and trickery and overblown with the helium of self-centeredness and pride. Doctrines that preach that we will take care of the poor, but yet at the poor’s expense we will crème off of the top. We will keep the best for ourselves and give only the useless away. This kind of bread the Lords says to stay away from. Also, he warns us to stay away from the leavened bread of malice and wickedness. In other words, keep your heart free from being spiteful and nasty toward others. Friends the type of bread that you eat will surely depend on where you go to dine.
Where you’re eating will determine the quality of the meal and consequentially the quality of your health and life. Haven’t you heard the phrase, you are what you eat. Don’t expect a succulent flavorful gourmet meal from a fast food restaurant. If you want the best you need to go to the best. If you want the truth you need to spend time with Truth, if you want a mouthwatering, delectable cuisine, you need to go where it’s being served up…The Holy Place!
The Spirit of the Lord has extended a personal invitation to everyone to come and dine with him and eat the bread that will never run out, the bread that is not leavened with false doctrine and false hope, but bread that is full of Truth and Grace. This bread does not become moldy or stale, but remains alive, offering bites of tasteful mouth and soul watering nourishment.
This Bread of the Presence is the Lord Jesus himself, bread from heaven, manna from on High. As Revelations 1:3 puts it, it is the one like unto the Son of man who walks in the midst of the seven candlesticks that invites you to come and partake of him. This bread of life the Word made flesh has been offered up for your life and mine. Eat heartily my friends, for as often as you do this you do show forth the Lords death until He comes.