Exodus 37 Commentary: The Ark, Lampstand, Table and the Altar of Incense.
Picture the tabernacle as house. Your closet is within your bedroom which, in turn, is within your house. Having received the architectural drawings already, this chapter zooms in on the actual construction of components. Items for the closet are made. Next, items for the bedroom are also made. So we see the following.
Ark. The only item in the Most Holy Place is made. This is like your closet.
Table, Lampstand and Altar of incense. These items are in the Holy Place and are made next. This is like your bedroom.
The notable feature on the Ark is the presence of two angelic creatures overlooking the cover. The symbolism here points to the LORD’s constant watch over His word. Remember that the Ark contained the word of the LORD in form of two tablets of stones. It perfectly reflects the two manifestations of the presence of the LORD in form of a Pillar of fire by night and a Pillar of cloud by day. Later the prophet Jeremiah would put it this way: “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.” Jeremiah 1 verse 12.
It was made out of pure gold. Gold represents value.
The Table is made next. Again we can look at the picture of your house. A table is made for serving food. So even here we can see the kitchen implements being made in addition to the table itself. Remember that Israel is making a house for the LORD! Bread was served on this table.
Every house requires lighting. So this house is fitted with an elaborately constructed lampstand. The presence of this lampstand is a reminder of the LORD’S directive: “Let there be light”.
The altar of incense was made on which incense was offered. We now understand the importance of incense. It represents the prayers of the saints. Anointing oil was also made.
The symbolisms in the chapter are deeply important for the saint today. It reminds us of one who declared to be the light of this world. He is the bread of life. And right now He is offering intercession on behalf of the saints. Importantly He is the word of God as ably represented by the most important article of the tabernacle, the Ark.
It would not be wrong to suggest that the LORD dwells among His people by His word, the Ark. Read God’s word daily. Meditate on it. Share it. Love it.
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