Now the first covenant also had regulations for ministry and an earthly sanctuary. For a tabernacle was set up, and in the first room, which is called the holy place, were the lampstand, the table, and the presentation loaves. Hebrews 9:1-2
The first time the golden lampstand is mentioned is in Exodus. God gives detailed instructions about the construction of it and how it was to be placed in the tabernacle. He was very precise in how He wanted it designed, not because He was picky and hard to please, but because each feature of the lampstand is rich is symbolism. A man named, Bezalel, was the chief artisan in charge of making it. Can you imagine the weight of responsibility?
It was to be made of pure gold – the most valuable of all metals. How beautiful the symbolism. David said, “I love your commandments above gold, above fine gold. Psalm 119:127
It was to be fashioned as a tree with a base, a center shaft representing the trunk, and then blossoming into three branches on each side. How many times is a tree mentioned as a representation of spiritual life. How meaningful is the picture of a vine that branches into many smaller vines? I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
The end of each branch was to open like an almond flower, and it was the center of the flower that would hold the oil lamp. The almond tree is mentioned often in scripture as the first tree to bear fruit in the spring. Paul called Christ the ‘firstfruits’. So rich a connection! Not only that, but you and I are called the firstfruits of the Spirit. “We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons.” Romans 8:23 I also recall that God caused Aaron’s rod to bud and grow ripe almonds overnight. This miracle proved to the people that Aaron was God’s chosen High Priest.
The lampstand was the center of all light in the tabernacle. There were no windows – symbolizing the darkness of our world. Jesus, as Light of the world, makes His church lights in this dark world. For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light. Ephesians 5:8
There was one tabernacle in an ancient land. There was one functional gold creation within the tabernacle. And yet, because it was conceived by God, it is layered with more meaning than you and I can comprehend. Anything God creates holds profound implications on many, many levels ~ more than we will explore in our lifetime.
What more can be said about this today? I believe it begs a few questions. Am I a light in a dark place? Am I one who bears fruit like the almond flower? Am I living as a branch who feeds on the Vine, Christ Jesus? Are the things of God as pure gold to my heart’s appetites? This is enough food for today to satisfy the most ravenous pilgrim.
And to think, Jesus, that You are Light in my heart; and my heart is Your new tabernacle. Wow. Amen