Sunday Service | Mount Zion Church | 17 February 2019 | The Gold Lampstand | The Presence Series | Exodus 25:31-40
The tabernacle has a very important meaning to all believers since it is the pattern of our spiritual life also spiritual growth. More than that, we must aware that the tabernacle was built so God may dwell among His people. By learning the pattern of tabernacle and put it in our journey of faith, we may prepare the best dwelling place for God in our life Ex.25:8-9! Building the spiritual tabernacle within our life must be the first priority. When God already brought us from the darkness into His marvellous light, we MUST NOT let the house kept empty all the time! If the devil finds the house empty, he will go and take with him 7 other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first Mat.12:43-45. Building the tabernacle means building a deeper and stronger relation with God. Christianity is not about ritual only, it’s not about event and celebration only, it is about relation! God commanded us to build a sanctuary, so He can dwell in us! Building the tabernacle is also about a free-will offering! Inviting the presence of God in our life must be happened by our decision that come from our desire, NOT other people! Our devotional time, our ministry, our service, all must be happened by our desire, so we can enjoy it and experience the presence of God. Let’s bring our free-will offering to God and enjoy His presence more! And the last but not least, building the tabernacle must follow the pattern that God already shown to Moses! According to the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so we shall make it Ex.25:9. Inviting the presence of God will involve the preparation that according to His will and not our own will. We will not be able to receive the new wine in the old wineskin, we must not put a piece from a new garment on an old one. Otherwise, they will have torn the new garment, and the patch from the new will not match the old Luk.5:36-39. The Bible will never out of date, there is no expiry date for the truth from heaven. While some people may say that Bible is too old for now, we must stick with it and follow all pattern and measurements from it!
The tabernacle was divided into 3 main area: the court, the holy place, and the most holy place. There were 3 doors: the gate of the court, the door of the tabernacle, and the veil. Somehow, the first thing that God explained and commanded to build is the ark of the testimony Ex.25:10-22 which will be placed in the most holy place, very deep inside the tent, where no one will be able to see it except the High Priest who will go in it once in a year Heb.9:6-7. This ark is the symbol of perfection, the highest calling for all believers to grow as a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ Eph.4:13. This is about the hope of perfection that must be found within every believers, so that our journey of faith will become exciting, enthusiastic, looking forward to fulfilling the very original calling when human was created, God created man in His own image, according to the likeness of God Gen.1:27-28. The second thing is the table of the showbread where the priest need to prepare 12 mega-sized bread and change it every Sabbath day Ex.25:23-30. This gold table explains the urgency for believers to have the Word of God as the only important food for their soul Mat.4:4. Lack of food will make anyone suffer from hunger, reduce the strength of immune system, even become very vulnerable. Without the Word of God filled the inner-man, anyone will be easily defeated with sins and never be a conqueror over this world. Eating the Word of God is a must for every believers who want to live within the presence of God. Even God asked His people to always eat more, twice, so we will get enough, even plenty energy for our journey of faith 1Ki.19:7.
The next thing that God explained is the gold lampstand. This lampstand was made from a pure gold, a hammered work! This whole lampstand consisted from 66 parts (22 shapes of bowls of almond blossom, 22 ornamental knobs, and 22 flower-shapes) which easily reminds us to the number of the book in the Bible (66 books from Genesis to Revelation). All of it shall be one hammered piece from a talent of pure gold. This lampstand holds 7 lamps which was arranged so that they give light in front of it. The priests will light the lamps at twilight and then tend it every morning.
Both the table of the showbread and the gold lampstand was placed in the Holy Place, between the door of the tabernacle and the veil. Only the priests and the High Priest who have access to this sanctuary place. Being inside the Holy Place means receiving and experiencing more presence of God, come closer to the ark where God would like to meet and speak with His people, walk in the Spirit and not fulfilling the lust of the flesh anymore Gal.5:16.
THE LAMP AND THE LAMPSTAND
Jesus called us as the light of the world. Actually, Jesus is the light of the world and whoever follow Him shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life Jn.8:12. Jesus called us OUT of darkness into His marvellous light 1Pet.2:9. In Christ we become a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new 2Cor.5:17. We are no longer under the bondage of darkness because the divine light comes to our life, the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God shine on us 2Cor.4:4. Just like Moses reflect the bright light of God in his face, so do us will also reflect the light of Christ through our life! We become the light of the world because we have Jesus, the biggest light, abide in our life. The character of Jesus, His lifestyle, His words, all of it are definitely bring light to this darkened world. The path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day Prov.4:18. One good example about being the light of the world is through our mouth! Apostle Paul wrote: do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world Phil.2:14-15. As this world getting darker and darker, it is a must that God’s people never dim their light. We must see that this is the biggest opportunity for us to show the bright light of Christ! As more people ignore the word of God, we must stick and hold into it.
People will not light a lamp and then put it under a basket, but on a LAMPSTAND, so it gives light to all who are in the house Mat.5:14-16. Both lamp and lampstand are needed together. Without the lampstand, lamp will not be able to give its light effectively. Without the lamp, the lampstand will become nothing! We must not shame to show our light to others. Do not be shame to stand for the truth, do not put it under the basket, do not put in under your bed, the lamp need to be set on a lampstand Mark.4:21-22. Basket is something that people of Israel always bring anywhere. The baskets were ready to collect all leftover when Jesus did the miracle to feed 5,000 peoples Mat.14:20. The baskets were ready as well when Jesus fed 4,000 peoples Mat.15:37. The baskets represents our daily routine that can easily cover up the lamps. We may feel very burdened and heavy-loaded with all of our job every day, so we forget our calling as the light of the world. While bed may represent laziness! As a door turns on its hinges, so does the lazy man on his bed Pro.26:14. A good lamp always need to be maintained, checked every day, filled up with new oil, trimmed the wicked. Normally, the wick need to be trim about 1/8 of an inch at all times to helps control the amount of oil that is present. By keeping the amount of oil limited, the flame will create ideal complete combustion where carbon particles are absorbed by the flame. This means less soot is formed while the lamp is burning. The children of Israel also need to bring pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to make the lamps burn continually Lev.24:2. We must be diligent enough to let the lamps shine all the time. Shining without taking a good care will make a burnout, will bring only smoke but no light! Shining our light will mean giving out something from our life, letting the love of God flowing through our life, so that others can see and experience the love of God. Doing all of that without taking a good care for the lamp itself will burn out anyone! It was happened in the life of Elijah when he felt very tired, exhausted, and very lonely 1Ki.19:10. He had been very zealous for God but lacked the oil until God revealed Himself as a still small voice or a gentle whisper 1Ki.19:12, which represents the gentle work of the Holy Spirit Jn.3:8. We need to clean the lamp all the time, so it can be burnt effectively. The only thing that able to clean our spiritual life is the washing of water by the Words Eph.5:26. As the lampstand consists from 66 parts, once again it simply reminds as the number of the books in the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, where we can get the washing water also more oil for our lamps.
The lamp and the lampstand inside the Holy Place will bring good light for the priests whenever they are doing the ministry inside the tabernacle. In order to bring our light higher and more effective, we must have the lampstand! Since the lampstand was made from the pure gold, so we need to have that pure gold within our life and then let it to be hammered, maybe million times, until the shape of the lampstand can be seen, and our light become so shine before men and they may see our good works and glorify our Father in heaven Mat.5:16.
Pure gold is something that we can only buy it from God Rev.3:18, this is about something divine, something that come from heaven and not from this world. However, this pure gold is not something that we can get for free! The book of Revelation clearly writes how Jesus commands the church of the Laodiceans to buy it from Him. It means that we need to trade something so that we can get that pure gold. The only thing that contrary to that gold is the lust of the flesh. That is impossible to have that pure gold as long as anyone still follow the lust of his flesh. The flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that we do not do the things that we wish Gal.5:16-17. Let’s buy that pure gold and do not sell it again; buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding Pro.23:23!
As the lampstand is a hammered work, we may understand how tough the process to make it happens! We need to allow God doing His divine process in our life and through our life. Paul wrote: in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often, from the Jews 5 times I received 40 stripes minus 1, 3 times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; 3 times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness 2Cor.11:23-27. Paul took it all as the hammered process for the lampstand in his life, so that the lamps could shine better. Lampstand is not a moulded work, it is a hammered one! All of the hammering process will bring millions of impressions, left so many curves, and finally it will make the best reflector for the lamp.
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
What it’s all about?
This is a strong calling to be the light of the world! We are the light that need to be set on the correct and proper lampstand. We need to be aware with the danger of basket and bed which can cover and hide our light! Let’s buy that pure gold more, trade it with the lust of flesh, and let God do the hammering process. More hammer will always mean more reflector will be ready.
Insights and impressions:
The lamp that lose its light will be useful for nothing. 5 foolish virgin who still have their lamps but lose their light were not allowed to enter into the wedding Mat.25:1-13. Do not lose our light!
Shining is giving out; doing something for others. Our light will always useful for others and not for us alone! Taking a part in church ministry will definitely bring us to experience the presence of God more since we let the divine hammering process happened in our life. Becoming the volunteer for any church ministry will bring us closer and deeper to the hammering process, also let our lamps stand out on the lampstands. As more people keep their eye on us we will be more careful with what we will do and what we will say because we do not want to be a stumbling stone for anyone for the sake of Christ. As we may get unpredictable response from anyone, it will definitely give us a good learning to love others more with God’s unconditional love, even give us more opportunity to do the second mile and do the rule of 70 times 7 (forgive abundantly). As we learn to be faithful with God’s calling for us, we will also let the hammer lands on us more and prepare the majestic shape of gold lampstand. AMEN.Tags: exo25, lampstand, tabernacle