God's Bounty and Our Response
2 Chronicles 4:8
He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left…

The significance of the table of shew-bread (of which Solomon, in his desire for fulness and richness of provision, now made ten) depends on its position and on the objects it was to sustain. The table stood in the "holy place," very near to the inner sanctuary, where the presence of God was symbolized; and it bore upon it the shewbread, or "bread of presence;" this was so called because it was "the shewbread before me always" (Exodus 25:30), continually in the presence of God. There were also some vessels (Exodus 25:29) which were probably intended to receive wine ("to pour out withal"), which was the ordinary accompaniment of bread, as the source of daily sustenance. The whole arrangement pointed to -

I. A CONTINUAL RECOGNITION OF DIVINE BOUNTY. The bread and wine which largely constituted and adequately represented the provision for the nation's need were placed in the near presence of God, as the One from whom they came. It was well that the Israelites should be continually acknowledging that the fruit of the field was of Divine origin. They were very mindful and very proud of the great gift of the manna, which was a palpable and very remarkable provision from above - a clear produce of the power and goodness of God. They would be in danger of thinking that there was less of the Divine in the annual harvest; for this was, in part, the result of their own labour, and came gradually, by ordinary and gradual processes of nature. But Divine goodness and power were as truly in the latter as in the former. From God himself came the soil, the seed, the sunshine, the rain, the airs and winds of heaven; from him came the power that made all these work together for the germination, growth, and ripening of the grain; from him also came the knowledge and the skill which enabled the farmer to cultivate his ground and to secure his harvest; it was also of God's goodness that he required of his children the putting forth of these powers, both of body and mind, on the exercise of which so largely depended their health and character. The shewbread and the wine, standing where they stood, were a perpetual acknowledgment that all things which sustained and strengthened the nation came from the Lord their God.

II. A SOLEMN DEDICATION OF HUMAN STRENGTH TO THE SERVICE OF GOD. It was significant enough that "pure frankincense [was to be placed] on each row" of the loaves or cakes (Leviticus 24:7). "The offering of incense was embodied prayer, and the placing of a vessel of incense upon this bread was like sending it up to God on the wings of devotion" (Fairbairn's 'Typology'). It was, therefore, "a kind of sacrifice," and is spoken of (Leviticus 24:7) as "an offering unto the Lord." To present to God those things which are the recognized sources of sustenance and strength, is to acknowledge that our power and our resources belong to him and should be paid to him; it is, indeed, solemnly to dedicate them to his service in formal worship. We do the same thing now in our harvest thanksgiving services, and when we sing in the sanctuary hymns ascribing all our comforts and all our well-being to the good hand of our God. We only "perform our vows" when we dedicate to God, in daily life, the strength and the possessions with which he has enriched us; when we live in grateful remembrance of his love, in cheerful obedience to his will. in active and earnest endeavour to serve his children and extend his kingdom. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. And he made an hundred basons of gold.

WEB: He made also ten tables, and placed them in the temple, five on the right side, and five on the left. He made one hundred basins of gold.

Lights in the World
Top of Page
Top of Page