Monday, February 4, 2008

The Testimony

Even though I think I know my bible pretty well…. I am still delighted so often by some new insight …or gem that I had somehow previously missed !
I came across one yesterday and when I put it all together, I wanted to share my thoughts here in this post.

"And when He had made an end of speaking with him (Moses) on Mount Sinai, He gave Moses two tablets of the Testimony... .." (Ex.31:18) "Now the tablets were the work of God..." (Ex.32:15)

I can't even imagine what that experience must have been like for Moses , but we do have Moses’ own descriptive words , “And so terrifying was the sight …I was exceedingly afraid and trembling!” (Heb. 12:21)

The people who stood watching from a distance were also afraid…

“And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.” (Ex.19:16)

(Sometimes we think we would love to have God speak to us in an audible voice… but aren’t you glad He speaks in a still small voice ? in a whisper? So we are not terrified?)

Moses was instructed to take the tablets of the Testimony, on which were inscribed the words of God, and put them into the ark which stood in the tabernacle.
The tablets of the Testimony were so important that the tabernacle and the things in the tabernacle were spoken of in reference to the Testimony.
- The Tabernacle of the Testimony…..( Num 10:11, Rev.15:5)
- the tent of the Testimony (Num.9:15)
- the ark of the Testimony (Ex. 16:34)
- the veil of the Testimony (Lev.24:3)
- the mercy seat upon the Testimony (Lev.16:13)
- Even the jar of manna, Moses was instructed to place in front of The Testimony. (Ex.16:34)

(Jesus is the Manna , He Himself stood before God’s Word – He spoke only the words that He heard from His Father.)

It is not hard to understand that the Word of God is always central and forever…. “The Law of the Lord is perfect …. The Testimony of the Lord is sure…” (Ps.19:7)

But there is more…God, being ‘the God who speaks’ desires that His Voice be heard among His people. Though His Word was perfect, the stone tablets declaring it were not. They were waiting, until the time for God's perfect plan to be revealed.

He made His Word flesh and sent it to dwell among us in bodily form…. As a man … JESUS !

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory ..” (John 1:14)
The Word, the Testimony, came to us - in Jesus.
".. The Word of God and The Testimony of Jesus Christ".. (Rev.1:9)
"... for The Testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev.19:10)

Moses’ physical tabernacle was patterned after the one that is in heaven, and in this heavenly tabernacle there is The Testimony! (Rev. 15:5)

From heaven , from the Father, came Jesus…..

“ He who comes from above is above all….and what He has seen and heard that He testifies …..and he who has received His Testimony has certified that God is true…..” (John 3:31-33) “..The Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ” (Rev. 1:2 )
Jesus , having heard all that God Spoke – is The Testimony (the Word) of God. He is The One who testifies of the Father.
Instead of a stone Testimony kept hidden in the ark of the Covenant … God sent a Living Testimony that we could touch and feel.

Yesterday, I noticed something that I have never noticed before.

In the introductions of Psalm 60 and 80 there is a Hebrew word… ShushanEduth .. that literally is translated, The Lily of the Testimony… the name of a song.

In the word - translated as Lily - there is also the meaning of Trumpet – always symbolic of God’s Voice… or Word.

I wonder… did they know of whom they sang? The Lily most lovely, The Lily of the Valley ? It reminds me of a beautiful song we sing .. “He’s the Lily of the Valley, the bright and Morning Star, He’s the fairest of ten thousands to my soul!”
The Most Beautiful One of the Testimony of God … not the Words of God on stone.. but the Words of God written in Visible Love walking among us.

How poetically beautiful that is, is it not ?

But there is another application here.

In the Song of Solomon where the Lily of the Valleys scripture is.. (Song of Solomon 2:1) the Lily is feminine…. Does that negate Jesus being the Lily? Not at all, it only makes it more beautiful because Jesus’ body is spoken of as feminine in the ‘church’ . We are in Him and He is in us…. We are called to reflect the beauty of His face… We too are lilies ( beauty, trumpets ) of the Testimony, called to testify of God’s Word.

Jesus First, our example… then we in Him by His Spirit … living, breathing, obeying , witnessing to God’s Testimony… His Word, His Truth !

Together with Jesus , we are Lilies of the Testimony of God!

"May our words be pure and true, speaking the same words that Jesus speaks! May we not dishonor Him with The Testimony of our lips."

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