Daily Thoughts from Exodus: God’s Lampstand

“You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of hammered work: its base, its stem, its cups, its calyxes, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. And there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. And on the lampstand itself there shall be four cups made like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and flowers, and a calyx of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand. Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it a single piece of hammered work of pure gold. You shall make seven lamps for it. And the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it. Its tongs and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made, with all these utensils, out of a talent of pure gold. And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.” (Exodus 25:31-40, ESV)

This article is from ligonier.org:

“The lampstand was among the most ornate pieces created for use in the tabernacle, and those familiar with modern Judaism would know that the lampstand looked basically like a seven-branched menorah. It also resembled a tree with the cups at the end of each branch designed to mimic the appearance of almond blossoms with sculpted calyxes (outermost parts of a flower) and flowers (25:31–36). Many scholars believe that God commanded the floral design in order to remind the Israelites of the Tree of Life from the garden of Eden (Gen. 2:9). This is certainly an appropriate conclusion as true life is found only in the Lord’s presence (Ps. 16:11), and this presence was made manifest in the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34–35). Almonds were also a symbol of hope and fruitfulness in the ancient Mediterranean world, so these ideas were also brought to mind when priests saw the lampstand.

Of course, the lampstand also served the very practical purpose of providing light for the priests to do their work, since there were no windows in the tabernacle through which natural light could enter. The almond blossom-shaped cups would have been filled with olive oil, and wicks would have been inserted into the oil and lit to provide light. Aside from helping the priest see, the light from the lampstand would have also been a physical depiction of the truth that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5).

Because of the proximity to the Lord’s presence, the lampstand was also made out of valuable materials like gold and fine wood. That it was “made of hammered work” (Ex. 25:31) means that a wooden frame was created and then covered with “a talent of pure gold” (seventy-five pounds; vv. 37–39), which was hammered out to create the lampstand’s ornate appearance. God deserves the very best to be used for His worship, and thus He commanded Israel to use the finest materials in His presence.”

God is the light of the world, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. But Jesus has also told us we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). God shines through us as we serve Him in the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. The churches in Revelation are therefore represented as lampstands (Revelation 1&2). If we hide our light we are foolish. But shining it gives others a chance to come out of the darkness.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s