Two Tables

Thomas a Kempis points out that Noah labored 100 years to build the ark in which God would save him (perhaps taking Genesis 5:32 with 7:6). Solomon spent seven years building a temple to honor the Lord (1 Kings 6:37-38), and devoted seven or eight days just to its dedication (8:65). How then, a Kempis asks, can I in half an hour or less prepare myself for communion, prepare my heart “to receive with reverence the Maker of the world?”(1)

I can’t, of course. But at least I can pause to remind myself where I am, and what I am engaged in.

God has two tables. Actually, He has a great many more — including some in heaven that serve as models or patterns (Exodus 25:9, 40; Hebrews 8:5) — but on earth He has two that He especially talks about. When we prepare for communion, it helps to be clear which table we are approaching.

The Table of Holiness and Hunger

The first table stood in the tabernacle and, later, the temple — not in the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies, where the ark of the covenant was placed, but outside the curtain, in the Holy Place, with the altar of incense and the lampstand. The table was made of acacia wood,(2) overlaid with gold (Exodus 25:23-30). (In Solomon’s temple, the table seems to have been made of solid gold, 1 Kings 7:48. According to 2 Chronicles 4:7-8, Solomon also multiplied the furnishings, setting up 10 tables and 10 lampstands.)

The entire purpose of this table was to hold 12 loaves of bread, one for each tribe in Israel. This was called the “consecrated bread” (KJV “showbread”) or, more precisely, the “bread of the Presence,” ordained by the Lord “to be before Me at all times” (Exodus 25:30, NIV). In the days of the tabernacle, even when the table was taken down and moved, the bread wasn’t taken away; rather, the Kohathites spread special coverings over the bread, dishes, bowls, and jars, and carried the table — very carefully! — with its offering still in place (Numbers 4:7-8). Each sabbath, the loaves were replaced with fresh bread, and the priests ate the old ones (Leviticus 24:8-9). Abimelech the high priest famously shared this bread with David, the anointed fugitive (1 Samuel 21:6; Matthew 12:3-4).

As bread made from grain (“fine flour,” Leviticus 14:5), the loaves have been interpreted as agricultural, Israel offering to the Lord “the fruits of her labors.”(3) (Contrariwise, it is also said to signify “the fact that God sustained his people.”)(4) I am not so sure. I am tempted to argue, instead, that, as unleavened bread, these loaves or crackers share with the bread of Passover the designation “bread of affliction” (Deuteronomy 16:3). On this view, the bread recalls all of the sufferings of Israel’s slavery in Egypt and of the redemption (compare Exodus 12:39). If you’ve ever felt that your pain is the only thing you have to offer to God, this constant memorial is for you.

In fact, though, such an interpretation seems unwarranted. We do not even know for certain whether the bread of the Presence was made with or without yeast. The first-century Jewish historian Josephus says that it was unleavened,(5) but it is striking that the Biblical texts themselves — which take great pains to specify that yeast must be removed during Passover (Exodus 12:19; 13:7; Deuteronomy 16:4) and kept out of burnt offerings to the Lord (Leviticus 2:11) — never bother to address this point.

What is emphasized is that this is bread of the Presence — literally, the face — of God. Adam and Eve, once they had fallen, hid from God’s Presence or face (Genesis 3:8), and Cain feared that he was permanently driven from it (4:14, 16). The great promise to Israel is “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest” (Exodus 33:14, NIV); the great blessing is that He will turn His face toward them, beaming with grace (Numbers 6:25-26). The great threat is that He will hide His face, and withdraw His favor and protection, because of covenant-breaking wickedness (Deuteronomy 31:17-18; 32:20). Though gracious and compassionate, mindful of His covenant, and unwilling to cast His people from His Presence (2 Kings 13:23), in the end He does precisely that (24:20; Jeremiah 52:3). So Isaiah complains, “You have hidden Your face from us and have delivered us into the [consuming] power of our iniquities” (64:7, Amplified), and the Lord acknowledges, “In a surge of anger I hid My face from you for a moment” (54:8, NIV).

At this table, there is always the danger of losing His Presence. This covenant is all about faithfulness, His and ours. His face is toward the bread that must continually be refreshed — just as the fire on the altar must never be allowed to go out (Leviticus 6:12-13). He sees our obedience. On this basis, during the divided monarchy, King Abijah of Judah defies King Jeroboam of Israel:

As for us, the Lord is our God, and we have not forsaken Him. The priests who serve the Lord are sons of Aaron, and the Levites assist them. Every morning and evening they present burnt offerings and fragrant incense to the Lord. They set out the bread on the ceremonially clean table and light the lamps on the gold lampstand every evening. We are observing the requirements of the Lord our God. But you have forsaken Him. (2 Chronicles 13:10-11, NIV)

Just about 200 years later, King Hezekiah acknowledges before the Levites that Judah has done no better than the northern kingdom:

Our fathers were unfaithful; they did evil in the eyes of the Lord our God and forsook Him. They turned their faces away from the Lord’s dwelling place and turned their backs on Him. They also shut the doors of the portico and put out the lamps. They did not burn incense or present any burnt offerings at the sanctuary to the God of Israel. Therefore, the anger of the Lord has fallen on Judah and Jerusalem; . . . (2 Chronicles 29:6-8, NIV)

The lamps are lit daily, the bread replaced weekly, the sacrifices offered according to a precise schedule. If the 12 precious stones on the high priest’s breastplate (Exodus 28:15-21) represent the permanence and perpetuity of the Lord’s covenant with the tribes of Israel, the 12 loaves are a vivid reminder of their frailty and mortality, and of the covenant’s vulnerability. Sabbath by sabbath, generation after generation, the relationship must be renewed. So the loaves are set out with incense (Leviticus 24:7), a symbol of fervent prayer and faithful devotion (“Let my prayer be set forth as incense before You,” Psalm 141:2, Amplified; “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints,” Revelation 5:8, NIV and RSV).(6)

A few times, the bread and the sacrifices are referred to as the Lord’s food (Leviticus 21:6, 8, 17, 21, 22; 22:25; 3:11, 16; Numbers 28:2). This is a bit shocking when one considers how painstakingly the Bible distinguishes the Lord from the needy, dependent gods of the nations. But it underscores the reciprocal nature of the covenant. Because the Lord is Israel’s God, He feeds them. In return, so to speak, we “feed” Him by hearing and obeying. Jesus makes this clear in John 4:34: “My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work” (Amplified). Unlike the crowds seeking blessings and full bellies (John 6:26-27), Jesus draws His deepest sustenance from devotion, from living to “feed” His Father.

This first table, then, is a place of serving and not eating, of labor and not rest, of standing rather than sitting or reclining. Though the face of God is toward us, all but a handful of Levites are kept at a distance; we are represented, not intimate. There is no real communion, only, at best, an invitation to walk in God’s Presence. And without our constant vigilance, this table fails; its symbols cease to point to anything beyond themselves; the relationship disappears; and being always in the Presence of the holy God becomes, not a sheltering wing of protection, but a dreadful eye of judgment.

The Table of Brokenness and Grace

Almost from the first, we read of a second table, of God feeding His people. The covenant with Adam and Eve includes the provision of plants and fruits as food, even for the animals (Genesis 1:29-30), and the covenant with Noah provides plants and animals as food for people (9:3).

“I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging bread,” testifies the psalmist (Psalm 37:25, RSV). These realities are linked: if the righteous were reduced to begging bread, it would indicate that the Lord had forsaken him, and violated a key provision of the covenant.(7)

This aspect of the covenant displays the power of God. There is an instructive exchange during the wilderness wanderings, when the people complain, and the Lord announces that He will give them meat for an entire month:

But Moses said, The people among whom I am are 600,000 footmen [besides all the women and children], and You have said, I will give them meat, that they may eat a whole month! Shall flocks and herds be killed to suffice them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be collected to satisfy them?

The Lord said to Moses, Has the Lord’s hand (His ability and power) become short (thwarted and inadequate)? You shall see now whether My word shall come to pass for you or not. (Numbers 11:21-23, Amplified)

Asaph the psalmist sums up the people’s (and Moses’) unbelief in this way: “They spoke against God, saying, ‘Can God spread a table in the wilderness?’” (Psalm 78:19, RSV). This is the second table: not enclosed, restricted, limited to priests, furnished by human hands, and doled out in specified quantities, but supernatural, miraculous, bounteous, displayed for all to see and lavished upon everyone in or with the community. It is a mark of the surpassing greatness of Israel’s God that His provision is universal: “The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food at the proper time” (Psalm 145:15, NIV). Yet people and creatures outside the covenant have no assurance that this kindness will continue:

Taste and see that the Lord is good;

blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him.

Fear the Lord, you His saints,

for those who fear Him lack nothing.

The lions may [this tentative “may” is not in RSV and Amplified] grow weak and hungry,

but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10, NIV)(8)

The promise is especially for the covenant community. Out in the world, He spreads a table, at times even granting us “the grain of heaven,” “the bread of angels” (Psalm 78:24, 25, NIV), “spiritual food” (1 Corinthians 10:3). During other periods, He makes us eat “bread of affliction” (Deuteronomy 16:3), “bread of adversity” (Isaiah 30:20), “bread of tears” (Psalm 80:5; 42:3), “bread of mourners” (Hosea 9:4). We stumble at this, perhaps even complaining that His provision is not bread and not good (Numbers 21:5),(9) until we learn to raise our eyes, to wait and hunger for the food that truly nourishes. So Moses says:

Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep His commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. . . . Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you. (Deuteronomy 8:2-3. 5, NIV)

Seasons of spiritual hunger concentrate our desire and promote singleness of heart, so that we become eager to hear God’s word (Amos 4:6; 8:11-12). We have tasted the goodness of the Lord and His words (Psalm 34:8; 119:103), and no longer wish to settle for the “bread of wickedness” (Proverbs 4:17) or “bread of idleness” (Proverbs 31:27).(10) As we continue in this confidence, even our enemies become “bread for us” (Numbers 14:9, KJV, Amplified, RSV). And leaders like Gideon, raised from obscurity, steeped in weakness, appear as “bread” to their foes, but are given divine power to defeat armies (Judges 7:13).

Over time, we see a shift in Scripture: The people hungering for God, and being fed by Him, are no longer the ones in charge of “feeding” the Lord in His Holy Place. There are two separate paths: God lives “in a high and holy place” (the temple on Mount Zion) AND in the one who is crushed and lowly (Isaiah 57:15, NIV). Indeed, the broken and crushed heart is His acceptable sacrifice (Psalm 51:17, RSV). Though David eats the holy showbread (1 Samuel 21:6), Elijah is fed in a wilderness area far from Jerusalem, and ultimately outside the land of promise, among the Gentiles (1 Kings 17:2-9; Luke 4:25-26). The Lord’s covenant is now with the one who is righteous but rejected, who undergoes privation, hunger, trials, separation from the community, and persecution.

Increasingly, the prophets announce that God is not pleased with the first table:

I hate, I despise your feasts, . . . Even though you offer Me your burnt offerings and cereal offerings, I will not accept them, . . . (Amos 5:21-22, RSV)

What to Me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; . . . I do not delight in the blood of bulls, or of lambs, or of he-goats. . . . Bring no more vain offerings; . . . I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. (Isaiah 1:11, 13, RSV)

The first table easily becomes an empty ritual; the baked goods set continually before the Lord no longer signify lives lived in His Presence and in fellowship with Him. New Testament worship is not exempt from this danger: “. . . your meetings do more harm than good. . . . When you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat” (1 Corinthians 11:17, 20, NIV). Now as then, “The Lord detests the sacrifice of the wicked” (Proverbs 15:8, NIV; compare 21:27). We bring our sins along with our offerings (Amos 4:4; Hosea 8:11); unclean ourselves (Hosea 9:4), we defile His table and profane His Name (Malachi 1:7, 11-12). Yet we congratulate ourselves for being observant! This is “the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong” (Ecclesiastes 5:1, NIV).

Legalistic observance misses the mark in three ways:

1. The sacrifices, instead of being the sign of an all-encompassing devotion, become the sole area of obedience. The Lord says pointedly through Jeremiah:

Go ahead, add your burnt offerings to your other sacrifices and eat the meat yourselves! For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt and spoke to them, I did not just give them commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices, but I gave them this command: Obey Me, and I will be your God and you will be My people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you. But they did not listen or pay attention; instead, they followed the stubborn inclinations of their evil hearts. They went backward and not forward. (Jeremiah 7:21-24, NIV)

This rebuke echoes Samuel’s word to Saul, who redefines “obedience” so as to follow his own best judgment:

Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices

as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

To obey is better than sacrifice,

and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

For rebellion is like the sin of divination,

and arrogance [“stubbornness” in RSV and Amplified] like the evil of idolatry. (1 Samuel 15:22-23, NIV)

Both passages anticipate Jesus’ charge that the Pharisees and teachers of the law use human traditions (including rules about offerings) to “nullify” God’s word (Mark 7:5-13).

Obedience is more than scrupulosity; it requires a “prepared” ear to hear what God is saying (Psalm 40:6; Hebrews 10:5-9). Jesus pronounces a blessing on those who hear and obey the word of God, and calls them His family (Luke 11:28; 8:21). He insists that most fail to obey because they cannot even hear with comprehension:

Why is My language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. . . . . He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God. (John 8:43, 47, NIV)

His appeal is to those who have “ears to hear” (Matthew 11:15; 13:9-16, 43) — those who have been given a gift of faith, those who are too devoted (perhaps too desperate) to rebel by redefining God’s words and by trusting their own judgment.

2. Whenever we focus on our sacrifices, on what we have done for God, we adopt a skewed perspective. It is not only that He continually does far more for us. Like a good marriage, the covenant is meant to be a relationship of intimacy, not one in which either partner tracks how much each has done. A “sacrifice” mentality emphasizes what can be measured — such as God’s 10 percent:

Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. (Matthew 23:23, NIV)

“To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice” (Proverbs 21:3, NIV).

In Hosea 6:6, the Lord packs all of this into a frustrated cry:

For I desire and delight in dutiful steadfast love and goodness, not sacrifice, and the knowledge of and acquaintance with God more than burnt offerings. (Amplified)

The single Hebrew word expanded here as “dutiful steadfast love and goodness” is hesed, a rich and important word variously translated as loving-kindness, steadfast or unfailing love, mercy, kindness, goodness, and favor. It expresses all that the Lord pours out in abundance at His second table. And as we see in Hosea, His plan is that we should learn to return His love. But we stop at sacrifice, and turn our hearts elsewhere. Our hesed is not steadfast at all: “. . . your [wavering] love and kindness are as the night mist or as the dew that goes early away” (Hosea 6:4, Amplified).(11)

The Lord craves nothing so much as intimate table fellowship:

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him, and he [will eat] with Me. (Revelation 3:20, Amplified)

Mary of Bethany grasps this, choosing “the good portion,” sitting rapt at Jesus’ feet, but Martha almost misses it, precisely because she is distracted with serving and wants to call attention to her sacrifice (Luke 10:38-42). Her attitude gives the food a bitter taste, and the table nearly becomes a snare and a trap to her (Psalm 69:21-22; Romans 11:9).

3. Our hearts are bent (Hosea 11:7; 7:16) and apt to twist the grace of God. When we sacrifice, we easily come to think that we have seized the initiative, and that our little gifts bind God to us. We are quick to obscure the fundamental fact of our utter dependence on Him. We are helpless, and yet so blessed that we become stewards and have enough to give back. Asaph sees clearly that our every sacrifice is a response to grace that has gone before, and that the acceptable sacrifice acknowledges this with thanks:

Hear, O My people, and I will speak,

O Israel, I will testify against you.

I am God, your God.

I do not reprove you for your sacrifices;

your burnt offerings are continually before Me.

I will accept no bull from your house,

nor he-goat from your folds.

For every beast of the forest is Mine,

the cattle on a thousand hills.

I know all the birds of the air,

and all that moves in the field is Mine.

If I were hungry, I would not tell you;

for the world and all that is in it is Mine.

Do I eat the flesh of bulls,

or drink the blood of goats?

Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving,

and pay your vows to the Most High;

and call upon Me in the day of trouble;

I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me. . . .

He who brings thanksgiving as his sacrifice honors Me;

to him who orders his way aright I will show the salvation of God! (Psalm 50:7- 15, 23, RSV)

We sacrifice thank offerings, tell of His unfailing love, and continue to call on His Name (Psalm 107:21-22; 116:17; Hebrews 13:15).

This is why the second table, the one that God prepares, is not only out in the open; it is set up in the presence of the believer’s enemies (Psalm 23:5). The first table holds the bread of the Presence, placing me, in my frailty and my striving, under the eye of God; the second table, later in redemptive time, crowns me with blessings of salvation and casts me into the faces of my enemies.

Reading the Shepherd Psalm, we experience a natural reaction: we don’t want our enemies present when our table is spread. They will steal our peace and spoil our festivity. We should think again. They must be there; the Lord requires it and will ensure it, for this is our vindication. The Lord declares us righteous in the very presence of our accusers (Psalm 35:26-27), as Haman is compelled to proclaim that the king delights to honor Mordecai (Esther 6:6-13).

Then, indeed, our cup overflows (Psalm 23:5).

Jesus the Living Bread

The second table isn’t sheltered by the sanctity of a temple. God spreads it in the desert (Psalm 78:19; Hosea 2:14-15), amid desolation. It is set for those who are desperately hungry, even for scraps, like the beggar Lazarus in the parable (Luke16:20-21); and for those, like the Canaanite woman, who are willing to take the lowest place, even the hidden and degrading position of a dog begging under the table, because they are convinced that the food at the Lord’s table has power to save, and is given in cascading abundance (Matthew 15:26-27).

Jesus Himself is the bread set out on this table:

. . . it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. . . . I am the bread of life. . . . I am the living bread that came down from heaven. . . . [T]he one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. (John 6:32-33, 48, 51, 57, NIV)

To receive this Bread, we turn our backs on the first table, leaving the temple behind, acknowledging that we are sinners and that our sacrifices cannot save us: “Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore” (Hebrews 13:13, NIV). My life isn’t spread out for God to approve; rather, I say again that I am only a famished beggar, aching for the one Bread that can feed my spirit and my soul.

In coming to this table, we bring nothing — only our God-given faith, which Luther well describes as a “passive righteousness”: “For in this we work nothing, we render nothing unto God, but only we receive and suffer another to work in us, that is to say, God.”(12) We are like the woman at the well: Jesus asks her for a drink only in order to draw her attention to the living water that He is offering (John 4:7-15).

When we come in the simplicity of faith, we become the flock that He tends and feeds (Isaiah 40:11; Ezekiel 34:11-14; Zephaniah 2:7; 3:13). Under His care, we become one body, one loaf (1 Corinthians 10:17). We become bread for a dying world, seed sown into others’ lives (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2; 2 Corinthians 9:10-11). We are set forth in the Lord’s Presence as a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). We are not only poured out like a drink offering (Philippians 2:17; 2 Timothy 4:6), but crushed and crumbled like a grain offering (Leviticus 2:6, 14; 6:21); in the words of Oswald Chambers, “God makes us broken bread and poured-out wine.”(13)

And so in heaven there will still be two tables. The results of our sacrifice will be on display, though this will take us by surprise: “Lord, when did we ever feed You?” (Matthew 25:37). We will wear these righteous acts of service as wedding clothes (Revelation 19:8; Matthew 22:11-12), but I suspect we will hardly be aware of them. Our eyes will be on the Lamb’s wedding feast (Revelation 19:9), a table spread by a gracious God whose love never fails:

Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you who have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to Me, and eat what is good,

and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. (Isaiah 55:1-2, NIV)

My people will be filled with My bounty. (Jeremiah 31:14, NIV)

 

(1) Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471), The Imitation of Christ, IV.1.3-5, ed. Paul M. Bechtel (1980), Moody Classics, gen. ed. Rosalie De Rosset (Chicago: Moody, 1980, 2007), 326-27. The figure of 100 years is probably too long for the ark, since the text says only that 100 years pass between the birth of Noah’s sons and the completion of the ark (Genesis 5:32; 7:6). But 1 Peter 3:20 does say that “God waited patiently . . . while the ark was being built” (NIV).

(2) “These thorny trees, found in desert wadis, are probably the only ones in Sinai likely to produce pieces of wood of sufficient size.” F.N. Hepper, “Trees,” in J.D. Douglas, ed., The New Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1962, 1975), 1294.

(3) Ronald Youngblood and Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., note on Exodus 25:30, in Kenneth Barker, ed., The NIV Study Bible (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1985), 125.

(4) R. Laird Harris and Ronald Youngblood, note on Leviticus 24:8, NIV Study Bible, 178.

(5) Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, III.6.6. Cited at Hope of Israel Ministries, “Mystery of Mysteries — What Is the Showbread?,” http://www.hope-of-israel.org/showbred.htm.

(6) Revelation 8:3-4, where incense is added to the prayers of the saints, seems to point to something further — perhaps the prayers of Jesus. However, Robert Mounce observes, “The Greek for this phrase also allows a translation that takes the incense ‘to be’ the prayers (‘incense . . . consisting of the prayers’)” (note on Revelation 8:3, NIV Study Bible, 1935).

(7) Ironically, Psalm 37 is a psalm of David, and David is a leading example of a man chosen by God who on several occasions must beg for bread. Instead of preventing such humiliation, the Lord uses these incidents to exalt His servant — by providing exceptional bread (1 Samuel 21:6) or by confounding his enemies (1 Samuel 25).

(8) Similarly, Psalm 36 celebrates the Lord’s “unfailing love” that preserves “both man and beast” through the “abundance” of His house and His “river of delights” (verses 5-9), but shifts to rejoicing in His justice that eventually overthrows rather than preserves evildoers (verses 10-12); and Psalm 104 shows Him first feeding, sustaining, and satisfying all creatures (verses 27-28) and then withdrawing, terrifying them and causing them to die (verse 29).

(9) In sharp contrast, a passage in an apocryphal book imagines that God’s manna was always and only a delight, and never a trial: “. . . Thou didst give Thy people the food of angels, . . . providing every pleasure and suited to every taste. For Thy sustenance manifested Thy sweetness toward Thy children; and the bread, ministering to the desire of the one who took it, was changed to suit every one’s liking” (Wisdom of Solomon 16:20-21, RSV).

(10) Compare a Kempis, Imitation of Christ, IV.16.2, 377: “Turn Thou for me all earthly things into bitterness, . . . Be Thou only sweet unto me from henceforth for evermore; for Thou alone art my meat and drink, my love and my joy, my sweetness and all my good.” The spirit here is the exact opposite of that in the Wisdom of Solomon passage (note 9 above): God is not accommodating our corrupt tastes, but changing them.

(11) Confusingly, the NIV uses “love” in Hosea 6:4 and “mercy” in 6:6.

(12) Martin Luther, A Commentary on St. Paul’s Epistle to the Galatians (1535), tr. rev. Philip S. Watson (London: James Clarke, 1953); excerpts in John Dillenberger, ed., Martin Luther: Selections from His Writings (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor-Doubleday, 1961), 101.

(13) Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year (1935; Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, n.d.), 33 and often.

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