Precious metals

Exodus 38:27-31 “The hundred talents of silver were for casting the bases of the sanctuary and the bases of the veil; a hundred bases for the hundred talents, a talent a base. And of the 1,775 shekels he made hooks for the pillars and overlaid their capitals and made fillets for them. The bronze that was offered was seventy talents and 2,400 shekels; with it he made the bases for the entrance of the tent of meeting, the bronze altar and the bronze grating for it and all the utensils of the altar, the bases around the court, and the bases of the gate of the court, all the pegs of the tabernacle, and all the pegs around the court”

One of the types, or shadows, of the Old Testament tabernacle is that of the “bases” i.e., the foundations of the various pillars on which everything else was constructed.  Two materials, silver and bronze, are mentioned as the materials from which these foundations were made.  So, to what does this refer? 

Of note is that the source of the silver was money from the offerings that were to be given in relation to a census of all Israelites from age 20 and upward. It was called “a ransom for his life to the Lord when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them (Exodus 30:12).”  Another term that was used for this money was “the Lord’s offering to make atonement for your lives.”  In other words, silver is spoken of in terms of redemption, i.e., a price that is paid in the place of one’s life.  With this we have a shadow of one of the foundations of the church of God – a price that was paid for the life of each and every person who is a part of the church.  And what was that price?  It was something much more precious than silver, for the reality of the spiritual types in the Bible is always much greater than the symbols.  This is revealed to us in 1 Peter 1:18-19, which says, “knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.”

What a precious truth this is – that those who were under the curse of the law have had their penalty paid by the Great Redeemer Who “so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).”  It’s the foundation of our faith – that our sins were paid for with the precious blood of the Lamb of God. 

But then, what about the foundations of bronze? To what do they point?  This is just another facet of the same picture. You see, bronze was the material from which everything that had to do with the blood sacrifices offered by fire were made in the tabernacle, such as the altar of burnt offering. As such, it was a symbol of the sacrifice that was given for you and for me on the cross.  Jesus gave his very life – not just dying a natural death in His old age, but bearing the very wrath of God against all sin on the cross. It’s the foundation on which our faith stands – the blood of Christ given in payment for our sins as He bore the judgment of God on the cross.  In this most marvelous gift of God’s grace “for our sake He made Him to be sin Who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).” 

So, are you aware of this?  Is the foundation of your faith the fact that you are a sinner who has been redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb of God who bore the penalty for your sin on the cross?  Or do you think you need no redemption and is Jesus’ death on the cross of little value to you?  If so, you don’t know Christ and you are not saved, for it is these things alone that are “God’s firm foundation (that) stands, bearing this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19).’”  Is the blood of Christ the most precious thing you know, and is your own sin the most valueless thing you know?  If not, may God open your eyes to your need, for it is only on this foundation that anyone can ever know Him and be saved.

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