1 Kings 7:13-51 (Part 5) – More Than Just Bread on An Altar; More Than Just Scrambled Eggs on A Plate!

Posted: November 22, 2018 in 11-1 Kings

1 Kings 7:13-51 (Part 5 of 7)
Furnishings for the Temple

Today, we continue looking at the furnishings of the Temple in a 7-part series with Part 4. Because God is a God of order, everything in the Temple has a meaning. It symbolizes something in the relationship between God and His people.

Similarly, each of us has items that we have retained in our lives that are symbolic of some experience, particularly if you are a husband and wife. For Elena and me, we have things that we own that we have retained and not thrown away because they have significance to our relationship over the last 11 years (3 years of dating and 8 years of marriage). In my last blog, we talked about the significance of our wedding pictures taken at the beach and how they represent more than just pictures on a bookcase. They symbolize what God has done for us, to us, and through us.

On this Thanksgiving Day 2018, I am thankful for a little symbolic thing. The symbolic thing in my relationship and life with Elena is scrambled eggs. I was single from 2004 until Elena became my bride in 2010. During my single days, breakfast was not a part of my life. I barely could cook dinner and certainly getting up early enough to fix my own breakfast was just not worth the trouble. However, when Elena and I began living together as husband and wife, that all changed. Being the great wife that she is, she fixes me a quick breakfast each morning. She doesn’t want her man to walk out the door hungry in the morning. To save time and to keep it simple, it is usually my favorite morning food – scrambled eggs. I love scrambled eggs. Pour on some salsa or ketchup and bam it’s a quick filling meal. So scrambled eggs are a part of every workday morning breakfast now. Even on weekends when we have more time, eggs as in omelets or as in perico, but eggs are part of the morning deal around our house. But scrambled eggs on a workday morning symbolizes something for me and it’s more than just morning food.

Scrambled eggs, when it comes to my relationship with Elena, represent stability. After years of being single and the up and down life and the uncertainty that singleness represents, scrambled eggs made by Elena for me represents the fact that we are settled and we are long-term. That there is this daily reminder of the stability of our relationship gives me great comfort. Knowing that she is always there in my life makes the uncertainty of the world outside our doors easier to handle. When work is crazy, there are the scrambled eggs in the morning. When things are difficult at work, there are scrambled eggs in the morning. When things are uncertain, the scrambled eggs are certain. The scrambled eggs are symbolic of how Elena is my certainty. The scrambled eggs are symbolic of how Elena gives my life its mooring. No matter what is going on outside the doors of our home, I know that she believes in me. No matter how uncertain things may seem when I walk out the door, I know that she knows that I have been successful before and will be successful again. No matter what people may think of me outside of our doors, Elena knows what I have done, can do, and am capable of in the future. Pure and simple, she is my rock in a quicksand world.

I know that this all sounds silly to romanticize and imbue scrambled eggs as a symbol. However, they simply represent the love of my wife for me. It’s a little thing that she has done for me ever since we got married. It is important to her to make sure that I am taken care of. One of the ways that she expresses her love for me is through cooking. She is an amazing cook and she is the main reason that I have to exercise each week! LOL! When I did not exercise regularly (during the first 6 years of our marriage), I ballooned up to 234 pounds because she is such a good cook. She can create some amazing meals and it is not because she has to. It is because she loves to cook for me. It’s one way that she shows me that she loves me. So, laugh if you want, but scrambled eggs just represent Elena’s deep and abiding love for me as her husband. When I see those scrambled eggs in the morning during the work week, it represents love to me. It represents Elena’s constant love, day in and day out. It represents that underlying love, that permeating love, that love that has caused her to follow me from Rock Hill, SC to Livermore, CA to Duncan/Lyman, SC and now to Rock Island/Moline, IL. Scrambled eggs. Little symbols. Elena’s love – no matter the location, no matter what goes on in my life beyond the doors of our home, wherever that may be.

Thus, the scrambled eggs on workday mornings are a visual reminder of deeper things about our relationship that remind me of the deep and abiding love that God has for us. It is deeper meaning that we will look at in this passage today. It is ironic in God’s timing that in today’s blog we are talking about the showbread – on the holiday of Thanksgiving here in the United States, food and thankfulness. Let’s continue today by looking then at the showbread in the Temple and what they mean and symbolize:

13 King Solomon then asked for a man named Huram[a] to come from Tyre. 14 He was half Israelite, since his mother was a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father had been a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. Huram was extremely skillful and talented in any work in bronze, and he came to do all the metal work for King Solomon.

15 Huram cast two bronze pillars, each 27 feet tall and 18 feet in circumference.[b] 16 For the tops of the pillars he cast bronze capitals, each 7 1⁄2 feet[c] tall. 17 Each capital was decorated with seven sets of latticework and interwoven chains. 18 He also encircled the latticework with two rows of pomegranates to decorate the capitals over the pillars. 19 The capitals on the columns inside the entry room were shaped like water lilies, and they were six feet[d] tall. 20 The capitals on the two pillars had 200 pomegranates in two rows around them, beside the rounded surface next to the latticework. 21 Huram set the pillars at the entrance of the Temple, one toward the south and one toward the north. He named the one on the south Jakin, and the one on the north Boaz.[e] 22 The capitals on the pillars were shaped like water lilies. And so the work on the pillars was finished.

23 Then Huram cast a great round basin, 15 feet across from rim to rim, called the Sea. It was 7 1⁄2 feet deep and about 45 feet in circumference.[f] 24 It was encircled just below its rim by two rows of decorative gourds. There were about six gourds per foot[g] all the way around, and they were cast as part of the basin.

25 The Sea was placed on a base of twelve bronze oxen,[h] all facing outward. Three faced north, three faced west, three faced south, and three faced east, and the Sea rested on them. 26 The walls of the Sea were about three inches[i] thick, and its rim flared out like a cup and resembled a water lily blossom. It could hold about 11,000 gallons[j] of water.

27 Huram also made ten bronze water carts, each 6 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4 1⁄2 feet tall.[k] 28 They were constructed with side panels braced with crossbars. 29 Both the panels and the crossbars were decorated with carved lions, oxen, and cherubim. Above and below the lions and oxen were wreath decorations. 30 Each of these carts had four bronze wheels and bronze axles. There were supporting posts for the bronze basins at the corners of the carts; these supports were decorated on each side with carvings of wreaths. 31 The top of each cart had a rounded frame for the basin. It projected 1 1⁄2 feet[l] above the cart’s top like a round pedestal, and its opening was 2 1⁄4 feet[m] across; it was decorated on the outside with carvings of wreaths. The panels of the carts were square, not round. 32 Under the panels were four wheels that were connected to axles that had been cast as one unit with the cart. The wheels were 2 1⁄4 feet in diameter 33 and were similar to chariot wheels. The axles, spokes, rims, and hubs were all cast from molten bronze.

34 There were handles at each of the four corners of the carts, and these, too, were cast as one unit with the cart. 35 Around the top of each cart was a rim nine inches wide.[n] The corner supports and side panels were cast as one unit with the cart. 36 Carvings of cherubim, lions, and palm trees decorated the panels and corner supports wherever there was room, and there were wreaths all around. 37 All ten water carts were the same size and were made alike, for each was cast from the same mold.

38 Huram also made ten smaller bronze basins, one for each cart. Each basin was six feet across and could hold 220 gallons[o] of water. 39 He set five water carts on the south side of the Temple and five on the north side. The great bronze basin called the Sea was placed near the southeast corner of the Temple. 40 He also made the necessary washbasins, shovels, and bowls.

So at last Huram completed everything King Solomon had assigned him to make for the Temple of the Lord:

41
the two pillars;
the two bowl-shaped capitals on top of the pillars;
the two networks of interwoven chains that decorated the capitals;
42
the 400 pomegranates that hung from the chains on the capitals (two rows of pomegranates for each of the chain networks that decorated the capitals on top of the pillars);
43
the ten water carts holding the ten basins;
44
the Sea and the twelve oxen under it;
45
the ash buckets, the shovels, and the bowls.

Huram made all these things of burnished bronze for the Temple of the Lord, just as King Solomon had directed. 46 The king had them cast in clay molds in the Jordan Valley between Succoth and Zarethan. 47 Solomon did not weigh all these things because there were so many; the weight of the bronze could not be measured.

48 Solomon also made all the furnishings of the Temple of the Lord:

the gold altar;
the gold table for the Bread of the Presence;
49
the lampstands of solid gold, five on the south and five on the north, in front of the Most Holy Place;
the flower decorations, lamps, and tongs—all of gold;
50
the small bowls, lamp snuffers, bowls, ladles, and incense burners—all of solid gold;
the doors for the entrances to the Most Holy Place and the main room of the Temple, with their fronts overlaid with gold.

51 So King Solomon finished all his work on the Temple of the Lord. Then he brought all the gifts his father, David, had dedicated—the silver, the gold, and the various articles—and he stored them in the treasuries of the Lord’s Temple.

In this passage, we see that Next we have the showbread. This was placed on a table in the inner room. In Ancient Middle Eastern custom to give a meal and hospitality was a very important thing. If someone was in your home and having a meal with you. You were not only offering food but protection and whatever other needs they may have. The showbread is a meal that God invites Israel to have with him, that they might enjoy his fellowship and protection. Of course, the Israelites are not able to eat the bread, only the priests are, but the priests do it vicariously, that is on behalf of Israel. The bread was made up of twelve loaves symbolizing the twelve tribes all provided for and invited to the supper. The bread was renewed every day indicating that God was always, daily inviting the Israelites to have this meal with him. But the bread would also have reminded the Israelites of the Manna from heaven and the wonderful way in which God provided for them while they were in the wilderness.

For the Christian, the showbread at the Temple points to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ. The main significance of the bread is that it points to Him as the bread of life who has come down from heaven. And anyone who eats of Him will never hunger again. It points to Him as our communion with Him through the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives. Through Jesus, we have hospitality and protection as part of the people of God. The number of loaves is meaningful to us as Christians because we are grafted into the people of Israel through Jesus Christ. The twelve loaves represent our membership in the people of God. In Christ the bread which we could never eat is now accessible to all by faith, and the fellowship meal with God is no longer done by priests on our behalf, but by all who will accept Christ by faith.

So, the showbread in the Temple had oh so much greater meaning that just being twelve loaves of bread. They spoke to the people of Israel about their unique relationship with God. It represented God’s faithfulness to them in the past and comfort about what He would do for them in the future. For the Christian, we can see Christ all in what the showbread represents as we are part of God’s chosen people through Jesus. For me, scrambled eggs tell a great story of my relationship with Elena. They represent stability and abiding love – that I have been able to and will continue to be able to count on Elena to be my anchor at home even when the storms of life rage outside our doors. Scrambled eggs point me to Elena’s love. Elena’s constant and abiding love points me to the love that Jesus Christ has for each one of us – constant and abiding, always faithful, always providing what we need when we need it, always believing that we can be what He intended us to be, believing that we can be what He called us to be.

I am thankful and blessed and when I see my wife bringing me a small plate of scrambled eggs each workday morning I know it. I am thankful to God for what He has given me in my wife, Elena.

Amen and Amen.

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