June 4, 2023 | Duane Roberts
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“You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work. Its shaft, its branches, its bowls, its ornamental knobs, and flowers shall be of one piece. And six branches shall come out of its sides: three branches of the lampstand out of one side, and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side. Three bowls shall be made like almond blossoms on one branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower, and three bowls made like almond blossoms on the other branch, with an ornamental knob and a flower—and so for the six branches that come out of the lampstand. On the lampstand itself four bowls shall be made like almond blossoms, each with its ornamental knob and flower. And there shall be a knob under the first two branches of the same, a knob under the second two branches of the same, and a knob under the third two branches of the same, according to the six branches that extend from the lampstand. Their knobs and their branches shall be of one piece; all of it shall be one hammered piece of pure gold. You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it. And its wick-trimmers and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils. And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain.”—Exodus 25:31–40 (NKJV)
Such was the lampstand in all its glory—a bearer of light for the priests at the time. But now, it’s a representation of something even greater—symbolizing the One who is the Light of the world and those who reflect that light by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The lampstand, in all its botanical design, has pervasive imagery. Scholars believe God designed it to mirror the Tree of Life found in Eden. There is oneness and fruitfulness about it—the branches connect and extend, the bowls are shaped like almonds with budding blossoms, the lamps continually burn with olive oil, the central branch stands higher than the rest, and it’s made of one piece of solid gold, hammered into shape. A truly remarkable piece.
How can we not see the connection when the Scriptures are opened? In John’s gospel, Jesus said, “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” (15:5 NIV). Much like the lampstand, which had six branches extending from the higher main branch, so the Church is an extension of Jesus, connected to Jesus. Like the moon reflects the sun’s light, so we, as a lesser light, reflect the Son.
Consider the almond tree—each season it’s the first to bud and bear fruit. The apostle Paul wrote how Jesus is the firstfruit of those who are resurrected from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20). We, who are born of Jesus and His truth and were given salvation through Him, stand as the firstfruits of His harvest (James 1:18). We bear fruit through our connection to Him.
These lamps were constantly filled with olive oil and continually produced light. The prophet Zechariah wrote of his encounter with the Lord and how the lampstand appeared before him. Beside it were two olive trees. The trees, with their olive oil, represented the power Zechariah would need to accomplish his work—only by the might and power of the Spirit of the Lord (Zechariah 4:6). This same power of the Holy Spirit continually fills a person who operates according to the will of God to accomplish His work.
As followers of Christ, we are light bearers; we are the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Like the lampstand, we are hammered into shape by the trials of life, but in the end, we come forth as gold—not on our merit, but by the might and power of the Lord. Just as the wicks were trimmed, we are pruned and trimmed so what is dead and useless is lifted away and what is fruitful is developed and multiplied (John 15:2).
The lampstand truly was remarkable by its design, but more remarkable is Jesus and the Church in the eyes of God. May this be a wonderful encouragement to you!
Pause: How does the lampstand take on new meaning as you consider its design?
Practice: Take some time to meditate on these words from Jesus: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV).
Pray: Lord, it’s extraordinary how elements in the Old Testament were created to speak truths into our lives now. Father, have Your way in my life. Help me to stay connected to You—prune away what is dead and multiply what is healthy. God, I ask for more of the Spirit to fill me so I can bear fruit and reflect the light of Jesus. Amen.
Lisa Supp lives in Utah and has served within the CCFL Web and Prayer Ministry since 2011. She also volunteers as an editor on the CCFL Prayer Wall and is a writer on the Communications Team. Retired from teaching, Lisa and her husband Ron volunteer at their local Calvary Chapel and share a passion for Scripture, apologetics, and education.