The Presence

A presence more vital than daily bread, making known the path of life, satisfying, joyful, delightful.

Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)

The sayings of my mouth.

Expressions that expose what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.

The meditation of my heart.

To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.

My soul.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary].

Luke 2:34-35 – and Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, ‘Lo, this [one] is set for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against — (and also thine own soul shall a sword pass through) — that the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.’ (YLT)

Set. To lie outstretched literally or figuratively. To place in a passive or horizontal posture; utterly prostrate.
Set. That the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.
Revealed. To take the cover off; disclose.

How do you respond?

How do you respond when the reasonings of your heart are disclosed? Do you humbly acknowledge that the Lord God is right, and you are wrong? Or do you tend to justify yourself and find fault with others, even the Lord God?

Vessel of wrath. Ego-consciousness.

Vessel of mercy. God-consciousness. A relation of rest. The rest associated with the harmonious working of all your faculties and affections—of will, heart, imagination, conscience—because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development.1

Job 21:4-18 – [Job] As for me, is my complaint against man? Why should I not be impatient? Look at me and be appalled, and lay your hand over your mouth. When I remember I am dismayed, and shuddering seizes my flesh. Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power? Their offspring are established in their presence, and their descendants before their eyes. Their houses are safe from fear, and no rod of God is upon them. Their bull breeds without fail; their cow calves and does not miscarry. They send out their little boys like a flock, and their children dance. They sing to the tambourine and the lyre and rejoice to the sound of the pipe. They spend their days in prosperity, and in peace they go down to Sheol. They say to God, ‘Depart from us! We do not desire the knowledge of your ways. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’ Behold, is not their prosperity in their hand? The counsel of the wicked is far from me. “How often is it that the lamp of the wicked is put out? That their calamity comes upon them? That God distributes pains in his anger? That they are like straw before the wind, and like chaff that the storm carries away? (ESV)

Like Job, have you ever questioned what God is doing, how he’s doing it, and why? Have you ever been impatient or angry because you work hard to be good and do right, yet are rewarded with trouble and suffering while those who have no respect for God go merrily along in their self-serving ways, appearing to suffer no punishing/correcting consequences? Have you ever judged the Lord God as being unfair? Have you ever questioned his character? Have you ever wanted to take God’s place in meting out what you consider just punishment?

I certainly have!

Words without knowledge

Job 38:1-2 – Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? (ESV)

Speaking words without knowledge is evidence that we are not in a relation of rest in Christ. It is a symptom of inner turmoil. It indicates that we are unfamiliar with the power that is inherent in those who are confident in the one who has the infinite power of God at his command to work God’s purpose in each of us according to his purpose. It is proof that our way is not the Lord God’s way.

Luke 6:35-36 – But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful. (ESV)

Matt 5:44-45 – But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. (ESV)

I’ve discovered that questioning God’s ways and works without knowledge is a state of darkness that includes loneliness, pain, frustration, anger, lacking meaning and purpose. I’ve found that it’s impossible to relate with God when I’m relying on my limited and imperfect understanding and yet dare to accuse him of being/doing something that is contrary to his nature.

But when I start my questioning from a place of assuming that God is right, and I step back to see from a wider lens, from his gracious, merciful, loving perspective, curiosity rather than judgment and condemnation drive me. And curiosity is a space of freedom. I’m able to hold unanswered questions and what appear to be contradictions without judgment, without blind acceptance, and with an assurance that all is well despite appearances, trusting that one day I will understand.

In this place of freedom in the vulnerability of uncertainty, I can give my insatiable inquisitiveness free reign to meticulously seek answers, yet not need answers for my soul to be satisfied. This place of curiosity, for me, is the starting point for receiving the gift of relation of rest in Christ, the harmonious working of all my faculties and affections, because no part of me is in opposition to the Lord, but fully open to receiving whatever he chooses to give me, confident that he is who he says he is, and he’s doing what he promised he’d do from the beginning.

What did God promise he’d do from the beginning?

Eph 1:11-14 – In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)

In this Scripture text each time the word “in” is used, the meaning is a fixed position in place, time or state and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest.2

A fixed position in place, time, state
A relation of rest
Instrumentality, the condition, quality, or fact of serving as a means or agency.3
What is the means or agency fermenting within you; what teachings, purposes, desires…are spreading and causing gradual change in you?

A fixed position in place, time, state
A relation of rest
In Christ
Constructively, helping to construct; leading to improvements or advances; formative.3
In Christ
Grace. Divine favor. Unconcealed truth. Real. Genuine. Sincere. To deal faithfully with anyone.

In Christ

A fixed position in place, time, state
A relation of rest
Medially, in the middle of
Between our predestination according to the counsel of the Lord God’s will – and the time we acquire possession of our inheritance.
In Christ

In him we have obtained an inheritance
Having been predestined
According to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will.

Are you aware of your inheritance?
Do you know you’ve been predestined?
Predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will?

Do you trust the Lord God’s word, promise, intention, the counsel of his will?
Do you hope/trust in Christ?
Do you hope/trust that you have obtained an inheritance, though you may not yet have received confirmation?
Do you hope/trust in advance of confirmation?

Eph 1:11-12 – It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone. (MSG)

In Christ we find out who we are
In Christ we find out what we are living for
In Christ
A fixed position
A relation of rest.
Long before we first heard of Christ
He had his eye on us
He had designs on us for glorious living
Part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.

Have you heard?

Have you heard and understood the word of truth?
You have obtained an inheritance!
Do you hope/trust in Christ?
Are you aware of his work in you?
Do you trust in his work? Do you hope in advance of other confirmation of his work?4

Eph 1:13-14 – It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free — signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life. (MSG)

In Christ,
When you heard and understood the truth,
Believed, trusted the message of your salvation,
Entrusted yourself to Christ5
Placed yourself in a passive posture before the Lord God
Opened yourself to the love and presence and action of Christ within
Then you found yourself home free
Signed, sealed and delivered by the Holy Spirit.

Eph 1:16-18a – I [Apostle Paul] do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know… (ESV)

That you may know

I do not cease praying
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ
May give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation
To make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally and fully
Having the eyes of your hearts enlightened
Your eyes focused and clear
So that you can see exactly what he is calling you to do
So that you can grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for you
That you may know

Are you aware that you have you received a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Jesus Christ? Have you had the eyes of your heart enlightened? Can you say as David, shepherd, king, psalmist did?

Ps 18:28 – For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. (ESV)

My darkness.

1 Cor 2:14 – …Spirit can be known only by spirit — God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. (MSG)

According to the flesh. Cut off from Christ.

Rom 9:1-14 – I [Apostle Paul] am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of his call—she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

Rom 9:14 – What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part?

Pause and take notice of your thoughts and emotions after reading this scripture passage. Is there a part of you that questions God’s fairness? Are you coming from a place of judgment and condemnation, from fear and animosity, or from curiosity? What is the Lord God up to? What is he doing? How is he doing it? Why is he doing it the way he’s doing it? Do we all fit into God’s plans and purpose? Can we trust him? Can we rely on his word? What if, like Esau, God hates me? What does that say about me? What does that say about God?

Ps 145:9 – The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. (ESV)

Ps 145:17 – The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. (ESV)

How do we reconcile seemingly contradictory statements? How can we meekly receive God’s statement that he hates me, and at the same time he is good to me as he is good to all, and his mercy is over me as it is over all that he has made? How do God’s hate and love, God’s call and our works, God’s goodness and mercy, righteousness and kindness relate to his purpose, ways, and works?

The children of God

Children of the flesh are not the children of God
Children of the promise are counted [considered, God-determined] as offspring
Are we all, Jacob and Esau, you and me, all both children of the flesh and children of the promise?

Accursed and cut off from Christ
My kinsmen
According to the flesh.
They are Israelites [a descendant of Israel literally or figuratively]
They are Israelites having all the revelations of God and accompanying perks
And to them [descendants of Israel literally or figuratively]
And to them belong the adoption [the placing as a son/daughter]6
And to them belong the glory [dignity, honor, praise, worship]7
And to them belong the covenants [a disposition, a contract, especially a devisory will]8
And to them belong:
The giving of the law [legislation, specifically, the institution of the Mosaic code]9
The worship, service [to show relationship between God and adopted child, reverence, honor, respect]10
The promises [an announcement for information, assent or pledge, esp. a divine assurance of good]11
To them belong the patriarchs [father, parent, literally or figuratively, near or more remote]12
And from them,
According to the flesh,
is the Christ
Who is God over all.

According to the flesh.
Children of the flesh are not the children of God
Children of the promise are counted [considered, God-determined] as offspring

Rom 8:5 – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. (ESV)

Those who live

Those who live
According to the flesh
Set their minds on the things of the flesh.
Children of the flesh are not the children of God.

Those who live
According to the Spirit
Set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
Children of the promise are counted [considered, God-determined] as offspring

From now on we regard no one according to the flesh

2 Cor 5:16-19- From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them… (ESV)

If anyone is in Christ, united with Christ, they are a new creation.
All this is from God
In Christ God was reconciling the world to himself
Not counting their trespasses against them.

Not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel
Not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring
This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God,
But the children of the promise [a divine assurance of good].
But the children of the promise are counted, considered, God-determined as offspring.
For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.”
And not only so, but also when Rebecca had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac,
Though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—
In order that God’s purpose of divine selection might continue
In order that God’s purpose [a setting forth, figuratively, proposal, intention; specifically, the show-bread]13
Purpose. Show-bread. Presence-bread.
Symbolized the continual presence of the Lord – a presence more vital than one’s daily bread – and the people’s dependence on God’s provision for their spiritual and physical needs.14

The Mosaic legislation required that, once in every week, there should be twelve cakes of unleavened bread placed in two piles upon a pure table with frankincense [contained in spoons] beside each pile and changed every Sabbath day. The table held a series of golden vessels…we may conclude that the table held presentation offerings of grain and wine and oil, the three chief products of the land. The Presence-bread was a continual reminder to the worshippers of the truth that man does not live by bread alone, emphasized by the fact that these most holy offerings were afterward eaten [by the priests]. It was the Old Testament version of the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread”; and in the fact that the holy table was never for a moment left without some loaves lying on it, we have the symbol of man’s continued and unbroken dependence upon God. Even during the travels of the table of shewbread with the tabernacle, the “continual bread” was required to be in its place thereon. On the removal of the week-old cakes the spoons were carried forth and the frankincense in them burned on the great altar on the Sabbath day. If this were done while the grain and wine and oil were being consumed, it would derive additional significance, as betokening the gratitude and adoration of the representative recipients of the bounties of Nature, just as the daily burning of incense in the holy place betokened the worship and adoration of the praying multitudes without the temple.15

Unleavened bread

Presence-bread
A continual reminder to the worshippers of the truth that man does not live by bread alone
An ongoing reminder of man’s continued and unbroken dependence upon God
To provide their spiritual and physical needs.
Promise
A divine assurance of good
God’s purpose, intention
Presence
The continual presence of the Lord
More vital than one’s daily, physical bread.
United with Christ
A new creation
Presence
Stirring gratitude and adoration and worship
God’s purpose of divine selection
Not because of works
But because of God’s call
God’s purpose
Presence; continued, unbroken

Presence

Ps 16:11 – You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (ESV)

You, Lord God, make known to me
The path of life
In your presence, Lord God,
There is fullness of joy.
At your right hand, Lord God,
Are pleasures forevermore.
Your presence, Lord God
More vital to me than my daily bread.
Let me never forget my continued and unbroken dependence upon you
To provide my spiritual and my physical needs.
Your presence, continued, unbroken, my life, my well-being.
To you, I offer all. I lie myself down passive before you. Open to your presence. Willing for your will to be done in me, to me, with me, for me.
Your Presence
Stirring gratitude and adoration and worship in me.

Let me know whom you will send with me

As Moses readied to lead the descendants of Abraham out from Egypt where they had been held as slaves for four hundred years, he spoke with the Lord God.

Ex 33:12-13 – Moses said to the Lord, “See, you say to me, ‘Bring up this people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. Yet you have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found favor in my sight.’ Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.” (ESV)

You have not let me know
You have not let me know whom you will send with me
Please show me now
Please show me now your ways
That I may know you in order to find favor in your sight

Are you aware of a need and longing in the depth of your soul for the Lord God’s presence as Moses’ words disclosed his longing?

Is knowing God and his ways the primary cry of your soul, body, mind and spirit?

Do you have an insatiable hunger and thirst for the favor of the Lord God’s presence?

The Lord God’s response

Ex 33:14 – And he [God] said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

Rest: settle down; to dwell, stay, let fall, place, let alone, withdraw, give comfort. Cease, lay, let down, be quiet, remain; cause to, be at, give, have, make to rest, set down.16

Are you acquainted and experienced with the presence of the Lord God and the rest that he gives?

Ex 33:15-16 – And he [Moses] said to him, “If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here. For how shall it be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people? Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?” (ESV)

Your presence
Makes it known that we have found favor in your sight
Your presence
Makes us distinct
Your presence
Reveals us, children of promise

Who are you? Whose are you?

David, like Moses, expressed this hunger and thirst for God’s presence. Their prayers revealed who they were, whose they were.

It is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God.
It is the children of the promise, a divine assurance of good, who are the children of God.

Ps 51:9-12 – Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (ESV)

Hide your face, Lord God, by covering it, from my crimes and their penalties
Hide your face from my sins by not counting them against me
Reconcile me, along with the whole world, to yourself.
Blot out; stroke, rub, erase, smooth as if with oil all my trouble, all that I’ve done amiss17
Create; cut down, select, feed as formative processes; choose, do, make fat18
Create in me a clean, pure in a physical, chemical, ceremonial, moral sense19
Create in me a clean heart; feelings, will, intellect, O God20
And renew; rebuild, to be new21
A right spirit; wind, breath within me.
Cast me not away. Don’t throw me away
Cast me not away from your presence, from your face, Lord God
And take not your Holy Spirit; sacred place or thing, sanctuary, from me22
Restore to me; turn back, hence away23
Turn me back to the joy; cheerfulness, welcome24
Of your salvation, liberty, deliverance, prosperity, to be open, wide, free25
Uphold me; prop, to lean upon or take hold of, bear up, establish, rest-self, set-self, sustain26
Uphold me with a willing spirit; voluntary, generous, free, spontaneous27

What do your prayers reveal about who you are? Whose you are? Are your prayers according to the flesh? Are they according to the Spirit? How can you know?

Job 13:23 – How many are my iniquities and my sins? Make me know my transgression and my sin. (ESV)

Make this your prayer, “Make me know my transgression and my sin.” But don’t rest here! Don’t settle down here. Don’t get stuck here. This is merely the first step in the process of waking up.

I rely on you

Ps 143:8 – Make me hear of your love in the morning, because I rely on you. Make me know the way I should walk, because I entrust myself to you. (CJB)

Make me know my transgression and my sin, Lord God. Then turn me back to love. Welcome me back into your presence, Lord God, free, wide open, spontaneous.

Ps 90:8 – You have placed our faults before you, our secret sins in the full light of your presence. (CJB)

Why does the Lord God place all our faults and our secret sins in the full light of his presence? Is it to guilt us, shame us, prove we are worthy of his wrath?

Eph 5:13-14 – But everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is, since anything revealed is a light. This is why it says, “Get up, sleeper! Arise from the dead, and the Messiah will shine on you!” (CJB)

Everything exposed to the light is revealed clearly for what it is.

Arise from the dead you children of the flesh. Get up, sleeper! Awake!
Become aware!
Presence, continued, unbroken
More vital to me than my daily bread.
Child of promise.
Life. Joy. Well-being. Distinct. Favored. Pleasures forevermore.
Gratitude. Adoration. Worship.

Make me know!
Make me hear!
I rely on you
I entrust myself to you
In the full light of your presence
Continued, unbroken
Dependence on you, Lord God.
I rest.
My eyes focused and clear
So that I can see exactly what you are calling me to do
So that I can grasp the immensity of this glorious way of life you have for me
Presence
Continual, unbroken
More vital than daily bread
Making known the path of life, satisfying, joyful, delightful.

Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.

Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart to spirit. Anticipate unifying of body, mind and spirit to mirror and imitate the mind and life of Jesus.

Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.

2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)

Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions.

Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)

 

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8)

I encourage you to look for ways and practices to help you become aware of Holy Spirit and to relinquish all that you have and all that you are to Holy Spirit’s convicting, enlightening, restorative ministrations.

Cease working to save yourself.
Discontinue your silly notion that there is no profit in praying to the Lord God.
Give up the illusion that you do not desire the knowledge of his ways.
Desist in trying to make yourself good or worthy to gain a prize or inheritance.
Stop judging God, yourself and others when things don’t go your way.
God’s plan for you is a matter of his sovereign choice.
God’s plan for you is not dependent on what you do or don’t do,
But on God, who does the calling.
Divine selection,
Whose intention is Presence.
For you do not live on bread alone
But on continual, unbroken dependence on his Presence,
Presence, his provision of all your spiritual and physical needs
Presence, more vital than daily bread, making known the path of life, satisfying, joyful, delightful.

Be still
Open heart
Open mind
Open body
Open spirit
Wait
Prepare
Anticipate
Look
Listen
Tarry
Patient, confident expectation

Be open, willing, welcoming to all that the Lord God desires to take, to give, to withhold, to reveal, to hide today. Seek him, only him. Seek his face. His Presence. This is life. This is everything you need and desire. Presence.

Be still.
It’s a paradox.

Be still.
It’s a state of being. Am. Is. Stay, remain as in was, were.

Be still.
It’s a process of letting go in order to rediscover Life that was forfeited through neglect of the soul.

Be still.
It’s a process of ceasing, stopping, to be destroyed, dying in order to experience Abundant Life.

Be still.
It’s a process of abandoning and neglecting in order to be healed and made whole.

Be still.
It’s a process of opposing, contending, and striving to give up, renounce, leave, and abandon self-interest that is death, forfeiture of Life.

Be still.
It’s a process of becoming weak, feeble, to be wept over to return to the original Life that was forfeited but is bought back by the only One who has Life in himself.

Be still, consequently
Know
Presence

Know, not in the sense of accumulating and agreeing with facts and figures, receiving answers about what to do to get a good life, but know as in relationship. Presence. Love. Know as in Being. Awareness, consciousness, discernment, recognition, acquaintance, familiar friend, feel, perceive, have respect, have understanding, instruction, fellowship.

Be still.
It’s a process of letting the vessel of wrath prepared for destruction go in order to know the riches of God’s glory for the vessel of mercy.

2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)

To Meditative – The Presence

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Rest: 1. anapausis (<START GREEK>a)na/pausi$<END GREEK>, NT:372), “cessation, refreshment, rest” (ana, “up,” pauo, “to make to cease”), the constant word in the Sept. for the Sabbath “rest,” is used in Matt 11:29; here the contrast seems to be to the burdens imposed by the Pharisees. Christ’s “rest” is not a “rest” from work, but in work, “not the rest of inactivity but of the harmonious working of all the faculties and affections — of will, heart, imagination, conscience — because each has found in God the ideal sphere for its satisfaction and development” (J. Patrick, in Hastings’ Bib. Dic.); it occurs also in Matt 12:43; Luke 11:24; Rev 4:8, RV, “(they have no) rest” [KJV, “(they) rest (not)”], where the noun is the object of the verb echo, “to have”; so in 14:11. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

2In: NT:1722<START GREEK>e)n<END GREEK> en (en); a primary preposition denoting (fixed) position (in place, time or state), and (by implication) instrumentality (medially or constructively), i.e. a relation of rest

3Webster’s New World Dictionary.

4First trusted/hope: NT:4276 <START GREEK>proelpi/zw<END GREEK> proelpizo (pro-el-pid’-zo); from NT:4253 and NT:1679; to hope in advance of other confirmation: KJV – first trust. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

5Believed: NT:4100 <START GREEK>pisteu/w <END GREEK> pisteuo (pist-yoo’-o); from NT:4102; to have faith (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit; by implication, to entrust (especially one’s spiritual well-being to Christ): KJV – believe (-r), commit (to trust), put in trust with. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

6Adoption: NT:5206 <START GREEK>ui(oqesi/a<END GREEK> huiothesia (hwee-oth-es-ee’-ah); from a presumed compound of NT:5207 and a derivative of NT:5087; the placing as a son, i.e. adoption (figuratively, Christian sonship in respect to God): KJV – adoption (of children, of sons). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

7Glory: NT:1391 <START GREEK>do/ca<END GREEK> doxa (dox’-ah); from the base of NT:1380; glory (as very apparent), in a wide application (literal or figurative, objective or subjective): KJV – dignity, glory (-ious), honour, praise, worship. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

8Covenant: NT:1242<START GREEK>diaqh/kh<END GREEK> diatheke (dee-ath-ay’-kay); from NT:1303; properly, a disposition, i.e. (specially) a contract (especially a devisory will): KJV – covenant, testament.

NT:1303 <START GREEK>diati/qemai<END GREEK> diatithemai (dee-at-ith’-em-ahee); middle voice from NT:1223 and NT:5087; to put apart, i.e. (figuratively) dispose (by assignment, compact, or bequest): KJV – appoint, make, testator. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

9Giving of the law: NT:3548 <START GREEK>nomoqesi/a<END GREEK> nomothesia (nom-oth-es-ee’-ah); from NT:3550; legislation (specifically, the institution of the Mosaic code): KJV – giving of the law. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

10Worship/service: NT:2999 <START GREEK>latrei/a<END GREEK> latreia (lat-ri’-ah); from NT:3000; ministration or God, i.e. worship: KJV – (divine) service.

NT:3000 <START GREEK>latreu/w<END GREEK> latreuo (lat-ryoo’-o); from latris (a hired menial); to minister (to God), i.e. render, religious homage: KJV – serve, do the service, worship (-per). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Homage: an act done or thing given to show the relationship between lord and vassal. Anything given or done to show reverence, honor or respect. (from Webster’s New World Dictionary).

11Promises: NT:1860 <START GREEK>e)paggeli/a<END GREEK> epaggelia (ep-ang-el-ee’-ah); from NT:1861; an announcement (for information, assent or pledge; especially a divine assurance of good): KJV – message, promise. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

12Patriarchs: NT:3962 <START GREEK>path/r<END GREEK> pater (pat-ayr’); apparently a primary word; a “father” (literally or figuratively, near or more remote): KJV – father, parent. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

13Purpose: NT:4286 <START GREEK>pro/qesi$<END GREEK> prothesis (proth’-es-is); from NT:4388; a setting forth, i.e. (figuratively) proposal (intention); specifically, the show-bread (in the Temple) as exposed before God: KJV – purpose, shew [-bread].

NT:4388 <START GREEK>proti/qemai<END GREEK> protithemai (prot-ith’-em-ahee); middle voice from NT:4253 and NT:5087; to place before, i.e. (for oneself) to exhibit; (to oneself) to propose (determine): KJV – purpose, set forth. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

14Showbread: The showbread symbolized the continual presence of the Lord-a presence more vital than one’s daily bread-and the people’s dependence on God’s provision for their spiritual and physical needs. (from Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Copyright © 1986, Thomas Nelson Publishers)

15SHEWBREAD: (sho’-bred) lechem ha-panim, “bread of the presence”; he prothesis ton arton (Heb 9:2); the American Standard Revised Version “showbread.” See SHEW): The marginal reading of Ex 25:30; 35:13, the Revised Version (British and American) “Presence-bread,” exactly gives the meaning of the Hebrew.

  1. The Term: In 2 Chron 2:4 it is spoken of as the “continual showbread,” because it was to be before Yahweh “alway” (Ex 25:30).
  2. Mosaic Regulations: Later Judaism has much to say as to the number and size of the loaves, more properly thin cakes, which bore this name, together with many minute regulations as to the placing of the loaves, the covering of them with frankincense, and other ritualistic vapidities. All that the Mosaic legislation required was that, once in every week, there should be twelve cakes of unleavened bread, each containing about four-fifths of a peck of fine flour, placed in two piles upon a pure table with frankincense beside each pile and changed every Sabbath day (Lev 24:5-9). From the description of the table upon which the flat cakes were to lie (Ex 25:23-30; 37:10-16), it held a series of golden vessels comprising dishes, spoons, flagons and bowls. As it is unlikely that empty cups were set before Yahweh-they being described as “the vessels which were upon the table” – we may conclude that the table held presentation offerings of “grain and wine and oil,” the three chief products of the land (Deut 7:13). The “dishes” were probably the salvers on which the thin cakes were piled, six on each. The “flagons” would contain wine, and the bowls (made with spouts, “to pour withal”), the oil; while the “spoons” held the frankincense, which was burned as a memorial, “even an offering made by fire unto Yahweh.” The cakes themselves were eaten by the priests on every Sabbath day, as being among the “most holy” sacrifices. Each of the synoptists refers to the incident of David and his companions having eaten of the shewbread (hoi artoi tes protheseos), as told in 1 Sam 21:4-6 (Matt 12:4; Mark 2:26; Luke 6:4).
  3. On Journeyings: At such times as the removal of the tabernacle took place, the separate appointments of the table of incense were not parted from it, but were carried with it-dishes, spoons, bowls, and cups (Num 4:7). These, like the other furniture, were borne by the Kohathite Levites, but a few articles of lighter weight were in the personal care of the high priest. These comprised the oil for the candlestick, the sweet incense, the holy oil of consecration, and the meal for the continual bread offering (Num 4:7-8,16). Small quantities of these alone would be borne from place to place, such as would be needed with the least delay to refurbish the vessels of the sanctuary on every reerection of the tent of meeting.
  4. Significance: With this view of the nature, we have a natural and adequate sense of the meanings and importance of the shewbread, in the economy of the temple ritual and service. It was a continual reminder to the worshippers of the truth that man does not live by bread alone, emphasized by the fact that these most holy offerings were afterward eaten. It was the Old Testament version of the prayer, “Give us this day our daily bread”; and in the fact that the holy table was never for a moment left without some loaves lying on it, we have the symbol of man’s continued and unbroken dependence upon God. Even during the travels of the table of shewbread with the tabernacle, the “continual bread” was required to be in its place thereon (Num 4:7).

It has been usual to say that “frankincense in golden urns stood beside the twelve loaves” (Enclyclopaedia Biblica, IV, col. 4212). But this is a mere repetition of a Jewish legend, as spoons were the recognized holders of the frankincense to be burned (compare Num 7:14 ff). Such spoons formed a part of the equipment of the shewbread table, and on the removal of the week-old cakes the spoons were carried forth and the frankincense in them burned on the great altar on the Sabbath day. If this were done while the grain and wine and oil were being consumed, it would derive additional significance, as betokening the gratitude and adoration of the representative recipients of the bounties of Nature, just as the daily burning of incense in the holy place betokened the worship and adoration of the praying multitudes without the temple (Luke 1:10). (from International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, Electronic Database Copyright © 1996, 2003, 2006 by Biblesoft, Inc. All rights reserved.)

16Rest: OT:5117 <START HEBREW>j^Wn<END HEBREW> nuwach (noo’-akh); a primitive root; to rest, i.e. settle down; used in a great variety of applications, literal and figurative, intransitive, transitive and causative (to dwell, stay, let fall, place, let alone, withdraw, give comfort, etc.): KJV – cease, be confederate, lay, let down, (be) quiet, remain, (cause to, be at, give, have, make to) rest, set down. Compare OT:3241. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

17Blot out: OT:4229 <START HEBREW>hj*m*<END HEBREW> machah (maw-khaw’); a primitive root; properly, to stroke or rub; by implication, to erase; also to smooth (as if with oil), i.e. grease or make fat; also to touch, i.e. reach to: KJV – abolish, blot out, destroy, full of marrow, put out, reach unto, utterly, wipe (away, out). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

18Create: OT:1254 <START HEBREW>ar*B*<END HEBREW> bara’ (baw-raw’); a primitive root; (absolutely) to create; (qualified) to cut down (a wood), select, feed (as formative processes): -choose, create (creator), cut down, dispatch, do, make (fat). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

19Clean: OT:2889 <START HEBREW>rohf*<END HEBREW> tahowr (taw-hore’); or tahor (taw-hore’); from OT:2891; pure (in a physical, chemical, ceremonial or moral sense): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

20Heart: OT:3820 <START HEBREW>bl@<END HEBREW> leb (labe); a form of OT:3824; the heart; also used (figuratively) very widely for the feelings, the will and even the intellect; likewise for the centre of anything: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

21Renew: OT:2318 <START HEBREW>vd^j*<END HEBREW> chadash (khaw-dash’); a primitive root; to be new; causatively, to rebuild: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

22Holy: OT:6944 <START HEBREW>vd#q)<END HEBREW> qodesh (ko’-desh); from OT:6942; a sacred place or thing; rarely abstract, sanctity: KJV – consecrated (thing), dedicated (thing), hallowed (thing), holiness, (X most) holy (X day, portion, thing), saint, sanctuary. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

23Restore: OT:7725 <START HEBREW>bWv<END HEBREW> shuwb (shoob); a primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbial, again: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

24Joy: OT:8342 <START HEBREW>/occ*<END HEBREW> sasown (saw-sone’); or sason (saw-sone’); from OT:7797; cheerfulness; specifically, welcome: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

25Salvation: OT:3468 <START HEBREW>uv^y# <END HEBREW> yesha` (yeh’-shah); or yesha` (yay’-shah); from OT:3467; liberty, deliverance, prosperity: KJV – safety, salvation, saving.

OT:3467 <START HEBREW>uv^y* <END HEBREW> yasha` (yaw-shah’); a primitive root; properly, to be open, wide or free, i.e. (by implication) to be safe; causatively, to free or succor: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

26Uphold me: OT:5564 <START HEBREW>Em^s*<END HEBREW> camak (saw-mak’); a primitive root; to prop (literally or figuratively); reflexively, to lean upon or take hold of (in a favorable or unfavorable sense): KJV – bear up, establish, (up-) hold, lay, lean, lie hard, put, restself, setself, stand fast, stay (self), sustain. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

27Willing/free: OT:5081 <START HEBREW>byd!n*<END HEBREW> nadiyb (naw-deeb’); from OT:5068; properly, voluntary, i.e. generous; hence, magnanimous; as noun, a grandee (sometimes a tyrant): KJV – free, liberal (things), noble, prince, willing ([hearted]).

OT:5068 <START HEBREW>bd^n* <END HEBREW> nadab (naw-dab’); a primitive root; to impel; hence, to volunteer (as a soldier), to present spontaneously: KJV – offer freely, be (give, make, offerself) willing (-ly). (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

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