A Substantial Shadow Amid the Insubstantials
Isaiah 4:6
And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge…

The tabernacles of the Old Testament typify the abiding glory of that true tabernacle which the Lord pitched and not marl They were taken down. This abideth evermore. The dissolving process of death only developed the capacity of the Divine Redeemer to become a universal tabernacle. Isaiah saw the Divine King in all His beauty and in all His adaptedness for the world's deep needs when he declared, "And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat." The word shadow is not always attractively employed. Job, in mournful imagery, describes the traveller going to the land of darkness, and the shadow of death. And cheering ideas are not always suggested by the proverb which affirms that coming events cast their shadows before them. But the sublime tabernacle spoken of by Isaiah is a shadow that always attracts. It never hides any sunlight which may be needful for the ripening of celestial fruits.

I. This tabernacle is a COOLING SHADOW. The heats of this world will not be so oppressive to him who dwells in this tabernacle. For the soul finds adequate provisions for the wants and aspirations of its largo capacities in this substantial shadow.

II. This tabernacle is a LIFE GIVING AND PRESERVING SHADOW. The summer heat of Judaea is intense. Some of the rivers are dried up, and become lanes of burning sand. Near Mount Tabor many of the soldiers of Baldwin IV died through the oppressive heat; and at this very place of Shunem, the son of the Shunamite was struck in the head by the sun's rays as he went up to his father to the reapers, and he died. A shadow to impart and preserve life as well as to give a cooling place of resort. The spirit of man dies in consequence of unforgiven transgression, but life is found in the true tabernacle.

III. This tabernacle is a DELIGHTFUL SHADOW. Delightful, not only in protecting from evils, but in the direct impartation of pleasure. If there is any delightful state in this world, it is where and when the soul sits down under the shadows of the Beloved and holds sublime communion with the Infinite.

IV. This shadow is an ABIDING SHADOW. Unlike that afforded by Jonah's gourd. God blasts our cherished gourds in order to lead us out of all narrow and selfish policies. Earth's protecting shadows flee away to teach us to abide more constantly and believingly beneath the one perfect and ever-abiding shadow.

(W. Burrows, B. A.).

Parallel Verses
KJV: And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the daytime from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.

WEB: There will be a pavilion for a shade in the daytime from the heat, and for a refuge and for a shelter from storm and from rain.

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