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Month: August 2016

THE LAMPSTAND

THE LAMPSTAND

I hope you have your Bible with you. I prefer you use the translation that you like, but if you imagesCY1YHJMS lampsranddon’t have one handy right now, I will print Exodus 25: 31-40 from the Holman Christian Standard version.

God told Moses:“You are to make a lampstand out of pure, hammered gold. It is to be made of one piece: its base and shaft, its ornamental cups, and its calyxes and petals. 32 Six branches are to extend from its sides, three branches of the lampstand from one side and three branches of the lampstand from the other side. 33 There are to be three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a calyx and petals, on the first branch, and three cups shaped like almond blossoms, each with a calyx and petals, on the next branch. It is to be this way for the six branches that extend from the lampstand. 34 There are to be four cups shaped like almond blossoms on the lampstand shaft along with its calyxes and petals. 35 For the six branches that extend from the lampstand, a calyx must be under the first pair of branches from it, a calyx under the second pair of branches from it, and a calyx under the third pair of branches from it. 36 Their calyxes and branches are to be of one piece. All of it is to be a single hammered piece of pure gold.

37 “Make seven lamps on it. Its lamps are to be set up so they illuminate the area in front of it. 38 Its snuffers and firepans must be of pure gold. 39 The lampstand[j] with all these utensils is to be made from 75 pounds of pure gold. 40 Be careful to make them according to the pattern you have been shown on the mountain.”

This reminds me of our Ladies Link With God Bible Study when we studied the building of the Tabernacle with Robin Cannon as our facilitator.   She asked each of us to draw a lampstand using these directions!  I laugh now thinking of how each of us girls visualized it in our minds!!  I would love to think you are curious enough to draw your own lampstand from the same directions!  You can cheat a little by looking at the picture, but it really is fun to try it without seeing a picture.

The Lampstand is called menorah, meaning a Jewish candelabrum. It actually means a large candlestick with large branches.  The pattern God gave Moses was similar to a flowering almond tree. It was to be the single source of man made light in the tabernacle.   It was to be maintained by the priests every morning and every evening and was never to go out!  This would point to Christ as the Light of the World to burn continually.

“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.” John 1:6-9 NKJV

“ Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 NKJV

The lamp was to be made as a solid piece made with hammered, solid gold. It was to have a central shaft that was beaten out first.  Then from that central stem the three branches on each side were beaten out. It was to be placed on the left side of the Holy Place which would be the South side.  The Showbread Table was on the North side.  No one really knows what the Lampstand looked like, but we do know it had seven branches. Seven is a perfect number to God meaning “completion” and is used many times in the His Word to mean “perfect” and “completion”.  The shape of the Lampstand was like a tree of gold.

The bowls that held the olive oil were to be shaped like almonds in bloom and still made out of the same solid piece of gold as the branches.  There were three almond flower-shaped cups on each branch, but the central shaft was to have four almond flower-shaped cups. At the top of the central shaft and each of the six other branches was a lamp. The Lampstand was taken care of by instructions given to Moses.

And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. 21 In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel” Exodus 27: 20-21 NKJV  See also Leviticus 24:1-4

We need the Lord’s light because it is in His Light that we see light. For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light. “ Psalm 36:9NKJV    It was when God commanded His light to shine in our hearts that we begin to see what it is like to know Jesus Christ, compared to all other things!  For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ”  2 Corinthians 4:6 NIV . We can also see just how blinded and deceived we had been by the god of the darkness. “The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2Corinthians 4:4 NIV. 

imagesGG0U6MQO priest w lampstandMay we live in the LIGHT!

 

 

 

 

 

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The Showbread Table

The Showbread Table

In Exodus 25:23-30 (37:10-15), God continued to give Moses the details for the furnishings for His Tabernacle. He had begun with the Ark of the Covenant where He would dwell with His children of Israel.  Now, He adds The Showbread Table to be placed in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle.

The table was to be made of acacia wood like the Ark and was also to be covered with gold.  The dimensions were given to be 1’6” wide, 3’ long and 2’3” high.  The Ark and the Showbread Table both had a ‘crown of gold” like a molding around the outside edge of the top of the table.  Also like the Ark, the Showbread Table was to be carried with gold-covered poles held in place with gold rings at each corner.  On the table were to be placed golden plates, and cups, as well as its pitchers and bowls for pouring drink offerings.

Twelve loaves on unleavened bread were to be kept on the Showbread Table, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel.  The loaves were to be placed in two stacks with six loaves in each stack and were to be replaced fresh every week on the Sabbath.  (Leviticus 24:5-9) This was to be fresh food in the house of God for the priests.

As Christians we see Jesus Christ as the Bread of God who came down from heaven to give Life to the world! John 6:33    These loaves of unleavened bread remind us of Jesus saying, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger.” John 6:35 

The Showbread is also called the Bread of the Presence. It is for all the priests to eat in fellowship with one another in God’s presence. We are considered royal priests according to 1 Peter 2:5  “ you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”  and 1 Peter 2:9 “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people..”    As priests, in order to eat Christ as the Bread of Life, we must be in the presence of God, who is Spirit. (John 4:2-4)

We pray the Lord’s Prayer from Luke 1:2-4 “Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread….”  

Luke 11: 5-8 “And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;  and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’?  I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs.”

Based on that parable in Luke 11:5-8, we need the Bread of Life not just for ourselves, but also for our needy friends. Jesus said that people in the world are hungry, but we can’t live by bread alone.  Jesus came that He might give life to the world, so that those who believe in Him may have eternal life, (John 6:33. 47).  Therefore, we should ask, seek and knock, in prayer (Luke 11:9), until He gives us as much Bread of life as we need for ourselves and for our friends .  Our friendly Father delights to do this! (Luke 11:13)

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Gathering the Offerings

Gathering the Offerings

Before we proceed with more of the details of the Tabernacle and its furnishings, I need to back up and review how all the material needed was gathered! The details of the beautiful place of worship were so important that two complete records are given in Exodus 25-31 and in Exodus 35-40.  God told Moses in Exodus 25: 1-9 to speak to the Israelites and ask them to bring what they needed to construct and furnish their place of worship.  He named all that would be needed, but He also made sure that they realized that only the offerings that came for their hearts would be acceptable!

I’m not sure how much of the material came from the Egyptian homes that were so happy to see them leave! (Exodus 25: 35, 36)  The Israelites responded to God’s request for offerings with such joy and enthusiasm that they finally had to be asked not to bring any more! (Exodus 35:21-29; 36:3-7)  God still desires for us to be joyful and willing when we offer our tithes and services.

The metals to be used in the construction were gold, silver and bronze. Gold listed first because it was the most precious. After the three metals, four materials are listed: three colors of yarn and also linen. “Egypt excelled in the production of linen, especially twined linen, where every thread was twisted from many strands.  The Hebrew slaves must have learned many Egyptians arts and crafts. . . during their stay in Egypt.”  The Bible Knowledge Commentary page 148

The threads were to be dyed blue, purple and scarlet. (Exodus 25:4)    “These colors were produced by dying the threads in shellfish for blue; for purple they used secretion of a murex snail; and crimson or scarlet dye came from powdered eggs and bodies of certain worms, which attached themselves to holly plants. Acquiring different colored dyes from different natural sources demonstrates a substantial degree of technical sophistication with textiles and fabrics. Egypt had a reputation for excellence in producing fine linen.” MacArthur Bible Commentary page 121

Next was goat hair, ram skins and dolphin skins. The dolphin skins are referred to as sea cows or badgers in some Bible translations. After the wool was removed from the ram skins and then dyed red, it resembled leather.   The dolphin skins were also used to make sandals.

The “acacia wood was a hard, durable, close-grained, and aromatic desert wood avoided by worm-eating insects. It was considered good for cabinet making, and could be found in sufficient quantities in the Sinai peninsula.”  MacArthur Bible Commentary page 121

Other items to be brought included olive oil for burning in the lampstand and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense mentioned in Exodus 25: 6 I found that oil, fragrances, spices and incense were important when Jesus was born and again when He was put in the tomb. Throughout the Bible they signified reverence and prayer.  See Rev 5:8

And the last to be offered were the onyx stones and precious stones like diamond, jasper, sapphire and topaz that would be set in the ephod and breastplate that the priests would wear.  I’m so excited about sharing all this information with you!  I hope you have enjoyed it, too!

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