Chapter 25:31-40 (ESV) - “You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of hammered work: its base, its stem, its cups, its calyxes, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it. And there shall be six branches going out of its sides, three branches of the lampstand out of one side of it and three branches of the lampstand out of the other side of it; three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on one branch, and three cups made like almond blossoms, each with calyx and flower, on the other branch—so for the six branches going out of the lampstand. And on the lampstand itself there shall be four cups made like almond blossoms, with their calyxes and flowers, and a calyx of one piece with it under each pair of the six branches going out from the lampstand. Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it a single piece of hammered work of pure gold. You shall make seven lamps for it. And the lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it. Its tongs and their trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made, with all these utensils, out of a talent of pure gold. And see that you make them after the pattern for them, which is being shown you on the mountain.
Question to consider: How does the Lampstand point us to the Holy Spirit?
The lampstand was not only a magnificent artifact, but it served a practical purpose since the Holy Place and Most Holy place were enclosed by an elegant linen of fine purple, scarlet, and blue yarn. On top of this was a layer of goat hair, a layer of tanned rams’ skins, and a layer of goat skins. The ordinary outer layers would provide protection against the sun and rain as well as conceal the treasured contents from enemies, but it would also keep out all light so that the golden lampstand was the only source of light in the sanctuary. Of course, its purpose was not merely practical because the priests were to keep the lamps continually lit even when no one was there.
It is worth noting that the lampstand was hammered out from a single talent of gold (about 75 pounds), which pointed to the fact that the LORD our God is one. It was designed with branches and blossoms like a tree. This image of a golden tree whose fruit was light reminds us of the Tree of Life in the garden of Eden, but this tree with its seven branches symbolized the sevenfold spirit of God as described in Isaiah 11:2, “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.” This same spirit would empower Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the king to rebuild the temple after the Babylonian exile which was in the vision of Zechariah 4, and this same spirit would empower the churches in Revelation 1.
Even though the lampstand mainly pointed us to the Holy Spirit, we are reminded of the triune nature of God. Much like the lampstand was the source of light in a dark tabernacle, so the Son of God would be the source of light coming into a world of darkness. The base of the tree reminds us of the Father because the Son and the Spirit proceed from the Father. So if the bread of the Presence points to the Son, and the Lampstand points us to the Spirit, it stands to reason that the Altar of Incense would point us to the Father. We’ll learn more about the altar after we explore the construction of the tabernacle.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for revealing Yourself to us in the tabernacle and in Your word. Please increase our desire to know You and make You known to those around us. Amen.