In the Holy Place of the tabernacle, there was a table toward the north, spread with twelve loaves of “showbread” or “bread of the presence.” To the south was a golden lampstand, seven lamps making a burning tree.
The Holy Place provided a glimpse of Israel’s place and mission in the world.
Twelve loaves = Israel. Seven lamps = the unsleeping eyes of the Spirit watching over Israel. Lamp and loaves are a snapshot of election, of the Creator’s special oversight of this people.
Israel is bread. Each week, the priests ate the week-old bread and laid out fresh bread. Each week, Israel was incorporated into the priesthood, caught up into the priestly ministry in Yahweh’s house.
Israel is bread for the priests, and the priests exist for the sake of the nations. They are caretakers of the Lord’s house, a house of prayer for all nations. Israel is thus bread not only for priests but for the world. She is the bread of the heavenly Holy Place sent out to earth to feed the hungry. Israel is bread for the world.