There is a twofold contrast in these scriptures. Joseph prayed to be remembered in the time of the chief butler's exaltation, and was forgotten; he put his confidence, for the moment, in man, and he was disappointed. The dying malefactor, on the other hand, prayed in his distress, but in faith, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest in Thy kingdom;" and he received the immediate answer, "Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise." His confidence was also in a Man; but that Man was the Messiah, David's Son, and also David's Lord, and hence he was not confounded. The reader will learn for himself the precious lessons that lie in this contrast; but some of the most obvious may be indicated. First, it is vain to seek to anticipate, as Joseph was tempted to do, the Lord's deliverance by any human means; secondly, it is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes; and lastly, "they shall not be ashamed that wait for" the Lord. (Isaiah 49:23.) E. D.
Numbers 10:10; 1 Corinthians 11:26.
There is an intimate connection, though not evident at first sight, between these scriptures. In the first we learn that the trumpets of silver, made of "a whole piece," were to be blown "in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months . . . over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the Lord your God." Without entering into all the features of this ordinance, two or three points may be specially noticed. First, the blowing of the trumpets was testimony for God, and testimony, too, in connection with redemption, as shown from the material of which the trumpets were made. In verse 2, for example, they were used to call the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps; just as God's testimony now gathers the saints out from the world and around their true Centre, and leads them onward in their journey. Secondly, only the sons of Aaron - the priests (v. 8) - were permitted to blow the trumpets; for only those who enjoy intimacy of access to God, and are in communion with His mind, can render His testimony, according to Himself, in the world or amongst His saints. Thirdly, the blowing of the trumpets was for a memorial. It called the attention of God, so to speak, to His people, and brought in, as faithful testimony ever does, His power on their behalf. (Comp. verse 9.) Passing now to the second scripture, it may be observed, first of all, that the Lord's supper strikingly answers to the peace offering; for this sacrifice represents in figure the communion of the offerer with God, with Christ, and with the whole Church; and it is thus no mean foreshadowing of the privileges of the saints who are gathered around the Lord at His table. The question then is, whether there is anything in connection with the Lord's supper corresponding with the blowing the silver trumpets over the peace offering. The answer is, "For as often as ye eat this [the] bread, and drink this [the] cup, ye do show [announce] the Lord's death till He come." The act, therefore, of breaking the bread and drinking the cup is God's trumpet, proclaiming His testimony to the death of His Son, our Lord. What an immense privilege is it, then, to be associated with this act - to be gathered week after week to eat the bread and to drink the cup in remembrance of the Lord, and to be, in this way, God's witness-bearers, in communion with Himself, with Christ, and with all the saints, amid the moral darkness of this world. Let it be remembered, moreover, that this blowing of God's trumpet is to us a memorial before our God, and that it calls Him in, in all that He is as revealed in redemption, on behalf of His people. E. D.