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The Golden Lampstand

The lampstand is sometimes referred to as the candlestick however candles were not yet invented, we will therefore keep more properly to the description of lampstand.

The lampstand stood on the south side of the holy place, as you entered it was to the left. It was a work of art beaten from one piece of pure gold, the description of this intricate, hammered out work is found in Exodus 25:31-40, 37:17-24. Made from an entire talent of pure gold (75lbs). Three pairs of branches sprang from the central shaft rising straight from the base, all terminated in sockets at the same height into which the lamps were placed. The ornamentation of the lampstand was a very beautiful design using almond flowers, buds and blossoms. The lamps were set in place so they shed light to the front. The size of the lampstand is not given in the bible description of it, we are therefore left to conjecture. Jewish tradition assigns it a height of about five feet and width of about three and a half feet. However Herod had a seven branched lampstand made for the Temple which was intended to resemble the lampstand of the tabernacle. This is shown in relief on the Arch of Titus in Rome where it was taken as a trophy of war after A.D.70. The measurements on the arch are two and three quarter feet high by two feet wide; but the figures on the arch are not life-size and together with the proportions of the table of shewbread on the same sculpture it may be assumed the tradition is correct.

Thoughts for simple sermons :-

1/ The Lampstand was the sole means of light as there were no windows in the sanctuary. The light was provided by seven lamps made of gold, a type of Christ; seven symbol of divine perfection and gold symbol of purity and holiness; Jesus is the light by which man can find God. John 8:12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life".

2/ There were three kinds of light at the tabernacle :-

a ) In the courtyard - the light of the Sun, natural, outward. A knowledge that comes from understanding, from human study.

b) In the Holy place - the light of the lamps, not a natural light but an inward light. Just as we can only see by the light of the lamps in the holy place. So the light of this knowledge comes by the revelation of the Holy Spirit who will lead us into all truth.

c) In the Holy of Holies - the light of God, divine, the shekinah glory. A knowledge that is beyond our understanding and we are call not to lean on our own understanding but to trust God and to follow in obedient faith. Rev 21:23 "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp".

3/ In Revelation 4:5 the seven lamps before the throne are described as the sevenfold Spirit of God. The seven fold ministry of the Holy Spirit is revealed in Isaiah 11:2-3, the Holy Spirit as symbolised by the lampstand gives a spiritual light of revelation to those ministering before God.

4/ Yet, in Revelation 1:20 describes the church as the lampstand. The church is called upon to shine a clear spiritual light into the darkness that will enable people to come out of the darkness. Some associate the light to the saving presence of God and if a the gospel is not preached or another gospel is preached then Christ will remove the lampstand from the church.