When Adriana Salker travels, she almost always books two plane tickets— one for her and one for her cello. As a professional concert cellist, she can’t entrust the safety of her instrument to the regular baggage handlers. One year, "Cello Salker" had accrued over 20,000 airline miles!
Musicians take particular care of their instruments because they value them personally and professionally; God wanted His people to take very specific care of His dwelling, their place of worship, because of its eternal value. In our reading today we are introduced to the bread of the Presence, and we’ll spend the next few days exploring what we can learn from this bread designated for God in the tabernacle.
This passage is part of a longer set of instructions that God gave to Moses about the organization and duties of the priests and Levites. This particular set of commands was intended for the Kohathites, who prepared the elements of the tabernacle for moving. The tabernacle, or tent of meeting, traveled from place to place with Israel during the decades of wandering in the wilderness. It was the place where God met His people, and included the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place.
Exodus 25:23–30 details the items to be placed on the table for the tabernacle. The finest gold covered valuable acacia wood for these items. Along with the gold-plated table and poles and solid gold pitchers and plates was the bread of the Presence, which was to be set before the Lord at all times. In fact, our text says that the Kohathites were supposed to leave the bread on the table when they carefully wrapped and packed the items to move (v. 7). For God, the significance of this bread was as important and valuable as the gold items.
Apply the Word
Do we value the same things as God? Do we think His instructions are important, even if we don’t fully understand why? Do we strive to take care of the holy things, even in a culture that denies that anything is holy? As we study the bread of the Presence, pray that the Lord will use this time in His Word to conform you to greater holiness and Christlikeness.