Bible reading for April 20.
"Give me oil for my lamp..." The priests were to make sure that bread was regularly placed upon the table inside the tabernacle and that the lamps were kept burning. Both of these look forward to our Lord Jesus who is the bread of life and the light of the world. In Revelation the Lord Jesus himself is called the lamp of the City (Rev 21:23).
Foursquare. For me, it is interesting to note that both the Holy of Holies in the tabernacle and temple (1 Kgs 6:20) and the New Jerusalem (Rev 21:16) are cubical spaces. This would indicate to me a) that the Holy of Holies was intended to foreshadow the coming City of God; and b) that the inhabited City itself is the holy place of God's presence, with no partitions between God and his people. The gates of the city are open all day, and since there is no night, that would mean that the glory of his presence would be seen at all times (Rev 21:22-25).
This chapter also records the first capital punishment under the Law, showing the seriousness with which God takes his law and his expectation that it actually be enforced in Israel. The "eye for an eye", was not, as the Pharisees later applied it, to be a law of personal retribution, but rather, a civil law of fairness, namely, that punishment would fit the crime.
"Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!" (31:24)
Psalms are rich with imagery! Notice the references in this psalm to the Lord's ear (his hearing)(vv 2, 22), his face (v 16), and his hand (v 5, 15). Such personal attention! Jesus spoke verse 5 right before he died (Lu 23:46), committing his spirit into the Father's hand. We too are not abandoned to the hand of our enemy (vv 8, 15), but our "times" (all the days and seasons of our life) are in the hand of the Lord (v 15). For David, and for us, the Lord being a rock and refuge, a fortress of protection, is a special comfort in the face of many enemies.
The value of seclusion. For nearly a year (1521-22) Martin Luther, under an imperial ban, lived in exile at Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany. This was a place of safety and refuge for the reformer. Though his hair and beard grew long, he was not idle with his time. Much of it was spent in translating the New Testament into German so that all his countrymen could read the Bible in their own language. There were ups and downs for him, just as there are in our own days of quarantine. The upside is time to think, write, rest, exercise, and evaluate our lives. The downside is a sense of isolation, loneliness, feeling disconnected from the rest of society, renewed temptations, and sometimes depression. May we, like King David and Martin Luther, be strong, wait on the Lord, and seek to use our time well!
Image credit: Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany, where Martin Luther in seclusion translated the New Testament into German. Photograph by Thomas Doerfer on Wikimedia Commons.
We are following the Robert Murray M'Cheyne (RMM) two-year reading schedule, as arranged by D. A. Carson.
Scripture quotations, unless otherwise noted, are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.