Golden Lampstand – Tabernacle #6

Exodus 25:31-40; 27:20-21;  37:17-24
This week we will look at the golden lampstand.  As you enter the tabernacle, the lampstand would stand to the left on the south side of the Holy Place.  We don’t know anything about the size of the lampstand, but what we do know is actually pretty amazing.  In Exodus 25: 31-40, we learn that it is made of one solid piece of gold weighing about 75 pounds.  The main shaft has six branches extending from it and each branch holds a number of cups shaped like buds and

Lampstand

Golden Lampstand

almond flowers.  Seven lamps are placed upon it and burn a very clear, virtually smokeless olive oil to light the Holy Place.  The lamps are kept burning from evening until morning.

Notice all the different elements that make up the lampstand: a central shaft, branches, buds, flowers, all made from one solid piece of gold.  What might this resemble?  It sure sounds a lot like a tree to me!  But, you might ask, “so it resembles a tree, what difference does this make?”  This is where this study gets really fascinating to me!  The tabernacle, as we know, was God’s special dwelling place in the wilderness where His manifest presence was made known.  God laid out the pattern for its construction.  He designed the purposes of each element, but there was an earlier dwelling place where God made Himself manifest to man – the Garden of Eden.  In fact, the Garden of Eden is thought of as the first “garden temple” – the last

golden lampstand

Reconstructed Lampstand currently in Jerusalem awaiting the construction of the 3rd Temple

“garden temple” is found at the end of the Bible in Revelation 21 and 22 as the New Jerusalem. If you read through Genesis 2-3 and Revelation 21-22 you will see that there are elements there that God designed right into the Tabernacle and later the Temple that was built in Jerusalem!  The description of the lampstand as a tree is just one of those elements that you find in both of the “garden temples.”

Digging Deeper:  Read through Genesis 2-3 and Revelation 21-22 and see what other similarities and functions you find as common elements in all three dwelling place of God.  Consider also the role of Adam as a high priest or caretaker in the Garden of Eden as well.  As a teaser, did you know there was gold in the Garden of Eden?!  What else can you find?

Christ and the Lampstand
I think that as we have been looking at Christ in comparison with all the various elements, the lampstand most easily represents to me both the life of Christ and our own lives.  Jesus spoke of Himself saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” John 8:12.
In Matthew 5, He calls us the light of the world:  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”  Matt 5:14-16.

It is in the lampstand that we see that there is something uniquely special about the life of a believer and Christ.  Paul says in Galations 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  It is Christ in us that makes us the light of the world.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it’s hard for me to remember that I am a child of the light.  I’ve often struggled with depression, and the darkness can be so consuming at times.  I love Paul’s encouragement in Eph 5:8-9, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.”
There are some key things here to focus on.

The first is the phrase “But now you are light in the Lord.”  You are already light!  You live in a dark world, but because Christ lives in you, you are already light.  Satan may try to have you believe that darkness lives in you, but that simply isn’t true.  No matter how dark a place you feel that you are in, rest in this promise that you ARE light in the Lord, even if you don’t feel that way.  That place may be very dark, but Christ still dwells in you and His light is also within you.  Persevere!

Second, we are told to live as children of the light.  We are to choose to live with our focus on Christ so that our light will burn brightly.  We all make bad decisions from time to time and if you feel your light is shining dimly, turn your focus on Christ and stand firm in that promise that you are already light.  Seek then to make good decisions that will lead to goodness, righteousness and truth.  Step by step you will get there again!

Digging Deeper:  Take a moment to read John 1:1-18 asking the Holy Spirit to
help you see this passage with fresh eyes.  What does it mean to you to be a child of the Light? 
Other scriptures to consider:  Psalm 27:1; Matt 4:16; 5:14; John 1:4-5, 3:19-21, 8:12, 9:5

God’s grace and peace to you until next time!

Light of the World
By Chris Tomlin
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_83rQRX_DIA&feature=related

O Jesus son of God , so full of grace and truth
The Father’s saving Word, so wonderful are you
The Angels longed to see and prophets searched to find
The glory we have seen revealed

You shone upon the earth but who will understand?
You came unto Your own but who will recognize?
Your birth was prophesied, for You were the Messiah
Who came and walked upon the Earth
Your glory we have seen, the one and only King
And now You’re living in our hearts

Light of the world, light of the world
Light of the world, You shine upon us
In You all things were made and nothing without You
In heaven and on earth all things are held in You
And yet You became flesh, living as one of us
Under the shadow of the cross
Where, through the blood you shed, You have made peace again
Peace for a world that God so loves

And yet You became flesh, living as one of us
Under the shadow of the cross
Where, through the blood you shed, You have made peace again
Peace for a world that God so loves

Endless Light
Hillsong Live
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1zU-fQv6Uc

From the highest throne to the earth below
You laid down Your life for the likes of us
Great is the love of the Savior

From the wounded heart to a life made whole
Every human heart will declare as one
Great is the love of the Savior

Lord of endless light let Your glory shine forever
All the earth,  All the earth sing Your Praise

Hope of every heart let Your name be lifted higher
All our hearts, all our hearts sing Your Praise

From the mountain heights to the valleys low
All created things given life to show
Jesus we live for Your glory

From the rising sun to the still of night
Every waking moment for Your delight
Jesus we live for Your glory
God be exalted, God be exalted in everything
We live for Your glory, Live for Your glory

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