The Golden Lampstand
                                                                "The Candlestick"

                                                                                             Exodus 25:31-40
                                                                                             Exodus 37:17-24

"Then you shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand and its base and its shaft are to be made of hammered work; its cups, its bulbs and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. And six branches shall go out from its sides; three branches of the lampstand from its one side, and three branches of the lampstand from its other side. Three cups shall be shaped like almond blossoms in the one branch, a bulb and a flower, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms in the one branch, a bulb and a flower, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms in the other branch, a bulb and a flower--so for six branches going out from the lampstand; and in the lampstand four cups shaped like almond blossoms, its bulbs and its flowers. And a bulb shall be under the first pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the second pair of branches coming out of it, and a bulb under the third pair of branches coming out of it, for the six branches coming out of the lampstand. Their bulbs and their branches shall be of one piece with it; all of it shall be one piece of hammered work of pure gold. Then you shall make its lamps seven in number; and they shall mount its lamps so as to shed light on the space in front of it. And its snuffers and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made from a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils. And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which was shown to you on the mountain." (Exodus 25:31-40)

     The lampstand was made of one talent of pure gold which weighed 90 pounds.  It had a center stem with three branches on each side, making it a seven-pronged lampstand.  Each stem had three groups of almond blossom cups, knobs, and flowers-except the middle stem, which had four (Ex 25:31-40).  It was not made from a mold but was hammered out of a single talent of gold. (Ex 17:24) symbolizing the Lord, who endured the harsh, hot sting of a biting whip before His crucifixion (Mt 27:26,30)

     The lampstand was filled with rich symbolic teaching for Christians.  The gold in the lampstand typified the deity of Christ.  The dimensions of the lampstand are not given, but its size, weight and beauty portray Christ in this fathomless greatness.  He is the creator of all things, and by Him all things are held together (Col 1:16-17).  He is limitless in His value, for in Him are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge to be found (Col 2:3).  Joy should fill our souls as we realize we are complete in Him. (Col 2:10)

     It was the priest's ministry to care for the lampstand.  Its lamps were kept perpetually burning (Ex 27:20-21) by filling them daily with pure olive oil.  The priests trimmed each lamp every evening and morning (Ex 30:7-8) with pure gold tongs and snuff dishes (Ex 25:38).  The oil in the lampstand was a beautiful type of the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  At the top of each branch were cups into which pure olive oil was poured.  The oil produced the glowing light that filled the Tabernacle.  The Holy Spirit illuminates our hearts and through us brings the light of Jesus into this world.

     The lampstand's purpose was to provide light.  It was a beautiful type of Christ, who is the true light of the world.  Jesus said, "I am the light of the world; he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life" (Jn 1:2).  The "light of life" that Jesus spoke of can be only obtained through faith in His atoning work on the cross.  The light from the lampstand also illuminated the altar of incense, so that the priests could see to offer the incense of prayer to God.  Without the lighted lampstand, the priests would have worshiped in darkness.  For our prayers to be effective, they must be offered in the light of the Spirit (Eph 6:18).  The Holy Spirit takes our unintelligible, insufficient, and feeble prayers to the throne of God and illuminates them and expresses our needs properly, according to the will of God. (Rom 8:26-27)

     The golden lampstand typified Christ, who lights up the walk and fellowship of believers.  The holy place had no windows to allow light to shine into the Tabernacle.  The light in the holy place was hidden from the world; only the priests had the privilege of ministering and enjoying the light of the lampstand.  So it is with Christians.  As believer-priests, we are able to enter into the light of fellowship and communion with God.  Today, Christians are the reflectors of Christ's light to a lost and dying world. We are not to hide our light under a bushel, but to let it shine brightly as a city on a hill. (Mt 5:14-15).

     The gold in the lampstand was also a picture of the true faith that Christians possess.  Christ, who is the pure gold (Rev 3:18) produces true faith in believers.  Christians go through the hammering experience of suffering to try their faith so that it will come forth as gold tried in the fire.  This type of faith is "much more precious than of gold which is perishable" (1 Pet 1:7).  The lampstand was also a type of the church.  In the 1st and 2nd chapters of Revelation, the church is portrayed as a golden lampstand.  Christ is the light of each lampstand and is to shine brightly through each of those local assemblies into the dark world of sin.

     The tongs and snuff dishes used in trimming the lampstand are typical of the cleansing of believers.  Daily the priests removed any dead material from the wick that might prevent the light from shining brightly.  Christians are the wick of God, standing between the oil and the light.  When the light is shining brightly, the wick in not seen, but if the light goes out, only the black charred wick is noticed.  If our wick is defective, the oil of the Holy Spirit is unable to flow through us, causing the light of Christ to flicker dimly and finally die out.  Christians must continually be trimmed by chastening (Heb 12:5-11), which purges out the deadness of the old life (Jn 15:1) and allows the light of Christ to beam brightly into the sin-darkened world.  Christ, our high priest, trims our wick through the trying of our flesh.

     The priests placed the used portions of wick into a snuff dish and carried them out of the Tabernacle for proper disposal.  The Lord disposes of our purged sins far from His holy presence. (Ps 103:12)

     We're commanded to be filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit (Eph 5:18), so that our light will shine on people in our world.  When unconfessed sins remains in our lives, we grieve the Spirit (Eph 4:30-31), and His ministry is quenched, causing our light to shine dimly or even extinguished.  When we are burning brightly for Christ, we are not seen, but His glory shines through us.

     Ask yourself, "Am I a bright light shining over the dark sea of humanity, pointing people to Christ, the true haven of rest?"  May your light of Christ in you shine bright for our Lord in these desperate times when people need to see the light of His love and presence showing them the way.

                                                                                 Top of Page