READ EXODUS 25
The tabernacle was ornately designed. God had outlined it down the to the very detail. There was the Holy of Holies and the Holy Place, the Table that held the bread of the Presence, and … no windows at all. Can you imagine what this Holy Place must have been like for the priests stepping into the Holy Place in observance of God’s commands? They would have been shrouded in darkness. And so, God gives His people commands to build a lampstand.
Read Exodus 25:31-40. What does God command here? What do you think the lampstand looked like?
The lampstand was incredibly practical in tabernacle worship. Like many of the lamps in the day, the stand was arranged to give the maximum amount of light that a single stand could provide. To this end, it hosted multiple lamps, each extending just past the one before, reaching light into every corner of that dark place.
Why is this appropriate for God’s dwelling place?
Darkness is not fitting for Yahweh because He is the author of light! In Him, the Word tells us, there is no darkness at all. He is light and gives light to all mankind! So a dark sanctuary with hidden corners and shadowy spaces would not have been appropriate for His place of presence.
But God didn’t only make the lampstand practical. He also made it beautiful. The design of the lampstand is replicated in modern-day menorahs, very common in the Jewish tradition for this very reason. The stands were an elaborate engraving of branches and almond blossoms. This, too, is intentional.
Read Numbers 17. What does the design on the lampstand represent?
In this brief narrative, God selects the man of His choosing by causing His staff to blossom. Aaron, Moses’ brother who was to serve as the High Priest before God, was the man God selected to lead His people into His presence. And the miraculous, powerful sign God gave to His people of His divine selection was a blossomed staff.
Why do you think this is significant?
I can only imagine that the priests who served before God did so with fear and trembling. As the Holy Place was darkened by the four-curtain deep walls, the lampstand was the only item that provided light to guide their way through their God-given rituals. God, in His kindness, knew that the priests would reach out their shaky hand, take the lampstand up, and be reminded: God has chosen me to be here.
There is something profound that happens when the sobriety of our calling runs up against the powerful call of God. We are reminded that, no matter how daunting the task or how shaky we might feel, where God has called us is the only place we should be.
How does this remind you of the Gospel?
PRAY & REFLECT
Thank God that He gave us light to illuminate the tabernacle. Thank Him that in Him there is no darkness at all. Praise Him that He gives us confirmation in our callings, frightening as they might be. Ask Him for courage and confirmation to lean into everything He has called you to.