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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

January 31, 2018

Exodus  25:31-40 thru 26:1-36

  1. The most important thing to note about the lampstand is that it points to Christ, as do all the elements of the tabernacle. The Bible is from beginning to end a testimony about Christ and God’s merciful plan of redemption. Praise the Lord, He has taken His children out of the darkness and into His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). God gives detailed instructions about the golden lampstand to be placed in the tabernacle the Israelites were building. It's interesting to note just how precise God is in explaining how He wanted the lampstand to look. Since we can be assured there are no “wasted words” in the Bible, we know each detail and specification is important for some reason.

  2. The lampstand was to be made of pure gold, hammered out to the perfect accuracy of God’s decree (Exodus 25:31). Gold was the most valuable of all metals (Psalm 119:127; 19:10). The lampstand as a whole was to be fashioned as a tree with the base and center shaft representing the trunk and with three “branches” on each side. The top of the shaft and of each branch was to be made like an open almond flower; each flower held an oil lamp (Exodus 25:32, 37). There are several passages in the Bible that speak about the almond tree, which was always the first tree to blossom and bear fruit in the spring, as early as February. The apostle Paul calls Christ the “first fruits” because Jesus was the first to rise from the dead to everlasting life, and because of His resurrection all believers will also be raised (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; Romans 8:23).

  3. Side note...God used Aaron's rod as a sign to the Israelites of his unique priesthood. At one time, when Aaron's priesthood was being challenged, God caused Aaron's rod to bud and grow ripe almonds overnight; this miracle reaffirmed that the privilege of being chosen as High Priest only came through God's appointment (Numbers 16:3;17:10). This was a “shadow of things to come” experience that pointed to Jesus, our God-ordained, life-giving High Priest forever (Hebrews 7:21).

  4. In the tabernacle, the lampstand was to be placed in the first section, called the Holy Place (Hebrews 9:2). The lamp was to be tended by Aaron and his sons so that its light never went out. The lampstand was to give forth light day and night (Exodus 27:20-21). The lampstand being the only source of light points directly to Christ as being the light of the world (John 8:12; 9:5). Jesus is the “true light that gives light to everyone” (John 1:9) and the only way anyone can come to the Father (John 14:6). Jesus also calls His church the “light of the world” (Matthew 5:14), not of their own doing but because Christ is abiding in the church (John 1:4-5). A Christian who is shining with the light of Christ will live a godly life (1 Peter 2:9). Scripture is overflowing with references that compare and contrast light and darkness, believer and unbeliever, right up through the book of Revelation. In Revelation 1:20 Christ says the “seven lampstands are the seven churches.” The churches of Christ are to walk in the light of God (1 John 1:7) and spread the light of the gospel so that all people will glorify God (Matthew 5:16).

  5. There is other symbolism in the lampstand: it was made of one piece, as Christ is one with His church (Colossians 1:8); the six branches (6 being the number of man. See John 15:1-5) plus the main shaft equals seven lights (7 being the number of completion)--man is only complete in Christ (John 15:5).

  6. Chapter 26. The tabernacle of Moses was the temporary place of worship that the Israelites built according to God's specifications while wandering the desert and used until King Solomon built a temple. The purpose of the tabernacle of Moses was to provide a place where the people could properly worship God. Priests sacrificed animals on the altar in the outer court. The bread of the presence, the continually burning lampstand, and the offering of incense were all in the Holy Place. And once a year, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies as part of the ceremony of the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16). At no other time was anyone to enter the Holy of Holies, as the presence of God dwelt with the Ark of the Covenant. When Jesus was crucified, the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies in the temple ripped from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). Just as He fulfilled for all time the sacrificial requirements, He ushered us into the presence of God. The word tabernacle is a translation of the Hebrew mishkan, which means “dwelling-place.” The Feast of Tabernacles commemorates this time of wandering before the Israelites entered the land of Canaan.

  7. The overall shape of the tabernacle of Moses followed traditional structures of the time. It consisted of an outer court, approximately seventy-five feet wide by one hundred and fifty feet long, with a fifteen-foot by forty-five-foot structure in the back (Exodus 27:9-19). The court walls consisted of linen curtains attached by bronze hooks to a series of pillars. The pillars were supported on the bottom by bronze sockets and possibly held in place with rope that attached to bronze rings. The gate, always facing east, was about thirty feet of blue, purple, and scarlet woven into a curtain of linen. The altar of burnt offering and the bronze laver that the priests purified themselves in sat in the courtyard.

  8. The actual tabernacle of Moses sat in the back of the courtyard (Exodus 26). The sides and back were made of gold-covered acacia boards, about twenty-eight inches wide and fifteen feet high. Each board had two tenons, projections, which fit into silver sockets. Gold rings held five bars that ran the length of the boards, holding them tight. The east side was comprised of five pillars covered with a screen like that for the courtyard.

  9. The tent was divided into two rooms: the Holy Place, where the table of showbread, the golden lampstand, and the altar of incense sat; and the Holy of Holies, where the Ark of the Covenant was placed. The rooms were separated by a veil, like the entry screen, embroidered with cherubim and hung from four gold-covered acacia posts by gold clasps.

  10. The exact shape of the tabernacle of Moses is unclear. It may have been a room with a slant-sided cover, somewhat like a rain fly. We do know it was covered in layers: fine linen, a fabric made of goat’s hair, a covering of rams’ skins, and a final layer of an undetermined, waterproof hide. The linen covered the entire tent, the panels connected by latching loops into gold clasps. The curtain of goat's hair was connected with bronze clasps and hung over the sides and back of the structure.

  11. Although the tabernacle was heavy and had many parts, it was surprisingly portable. Priests carried the Ark and the altars on their shoulders, but the rest fit in ox-drawn carts.

  12. The Tabernacle was situated right in the middle of the Israelite encampment. When the Tabernacle was set up, the nation of Israel surrounded it. Three tribes set up their tents to the North, three to the South, three to the East, and three to the West. And right in the middle of them all was God’s tent... His tabernacle. But even when the people moved from place to place and the tabernacle had to be torn down and moved, EVEN THEN, God's Tabernacle was the center of His people.

  13. The courtyard around the tabernacle itself was 150 by 75 feet and 7 feet high. You could not enter the Tabernacle from any direction. There was only one gate which was overhung with a veil and that was on the east side. In John 10, Jesus said, “I am the door” In John, 14:6, Jesus said, “l am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the father but by Me.”

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