Awesome Hands – part 92: “Golden candlestick”


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Awesome Hands – part 92

“Golden candlestick”

November 25, 2015

 

We’ve been studying the various items and instruments required to be made by Moses and the Israelites for the sanctuary of the Lord.

In today’s study, we are going to cover the golden candlestick and some of the spiritual applications and meanings for God’s people.

While there are many applications to how we are the candlestick in the sanctuary, I will only be covering a few examples of how we are used in God’s temple.

 

Candlestick of pure gold – almonds

 

The verses were going to be focusing on for the study today are Exodus 25:31-40:

Exo 25:31  And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.
Exo 25:32  And six branches shall come out of the sides of it; three branches of the candlestick out of the one side, and three branches of the candlestick out of the other side:
Exo 25:33  Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.
Exo 25:34  And in the candlestick shall be four bowls made like unto almonds, with their knops and their flowers.
Exo 25:35  And there shall be a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, and a knop under two branches of the same, according to the six branches that proceed out of the candlestick.
Exo 25:36  Their knops and their branches shall be of the same: all it shall be one beaten work of pure gold.
Exo 25:37  And thou shalt make the seven lamps thereof: and they shall light the lamps thereof, that they may give light over against it.
Exo 25:38  And the tongs thereof, and the snuffdishes thereof, shall be of pure gold.
Exo 25:39  Of a talent of pure gold shall he make it, with all these vessels.
Exo 25:40  And look that thou make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount.

There are various items mentioned which make up the aesthetics of the candlestick. However, these items are not just mentioned so that the person creating the design of the candlestick could make something pleasing to the eye. After all, there weren’t very any people who were going to see these items.

As with all scripture, the details of what is being said gives us a clearer understanding of what the Lord is revealing to us about Him and our relationship to Him.

First off we know this is a candlestick so the number one purpose of this item is to provide light. The other details will all support this idea. The shaft, branches, bowls, knops, and flowers will all be sub-details of this purpose for the candlestick.

The first description of this candlestick is that it is of a beaten work. Just like the cherubim being of a hammered work, so too is the candlestick beaten so that it can be an instrument used properly in the sanctuary of God.

The next descriptive detail about the candlestick, and a description made to stand out, is that there are going to be almond shaped blossoms on each of the branches and on the stem multiple times.

Exo 25:33  Three bowls made like unto almonds, with a knop and a flower in one branch; and three bowls made like almonds in the other branch, with a knop and a flower: so in the six branches that come out of the candlestick.

If you are curious like to me why they are almond shaped, then we do not need to look any further than scripture and nature to tell us why the Lord chose almonds.

“Almonds”, as mentioned in its English singular and plural forms, are only used in a few verses in scripture.

H8246
shâqad
Total KJV Occurrences: 6
almonds, 6
Exo_25:33-34 (3), Exo_37:19-20 (3)

H8247
shâqêd
Total KJV Occurrences: 4
almond, 2
Ecc_12:5, Jer_1:11
almonds, 2
Gen_43:11 (2), Num_17:8

What we know physically and naturally about almond trees is that they are among the very first trees to bloom after winter and signifying spring is here and they are also very pretty to see.

What we can learn spiritually will add to this knowledge that the almond tree is among the first to “do something”.

Almonds mentioned here in Exodus 25 are denominative from H8247.

H8246

shâqad
shaw-kad’
A denominative from H8247; to be (intensively make) almond shaped: – make like (unto, after the fashion of) almonds.
Total KJV occurrences: 6

H8247 has a root.

H8247

shâqêd
shaw-kade’
From H8245; the almond (tree or nut; as being the earliest in bloom): – almond (tree).
Total KJV occurrences: 4

 

H8245

shâqad
shaw-kad’
A primitive root; to be alert, that is, sleepless; hence to be on the lookout (whether for good or ill): – hasten, remain, wake, watch (for).
Total KJV occurrences: 12

Where have we seen H8245 being used?

H8245
shâqad
Total KJV Occurrences: 12
watch, 6
Ezr_8:29, Psa_102:7, Isa_29:20, Jer_5:6, Jer_31:28, Jer_44:27
watched, 2
Jer_31:27-28 (2), Dan_9:14
hasten, 1
Jer_1:12
remain, 1
Job_21:32
waketh, 1
Psa_127:1
   watching, 1
Pro_8:34

A few examples of “watching” are:

Ezr 8:29  Watch ye, and keep them, until ye weigh them before the chief of the priests and the Levites, and chief of the fathers of Israel, at Jerusalem, in the chambers of the house of the LORD.

Psa 102:7  I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top.

Jer 31:28  And it shall come to pass, that like as I have watched over them, to pluck up, and to break down, and to throw down, and to destroy, and to afflict; so will I watch over them, to build, and to plant, saith the LORD.

In order to solidify the connection of “watching” with the almond and almond tree, here is what the Lord gave to Jeremiah to admonish us with:

Jer 1:11  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree.
Jer 1:12  Then said the LORD unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

The word used in verse 12 here in English is “hasten”, but it is the only time that the translators of the King James used “hasten”. If you look at the Strong’s list I posted above, you see this is the same word H8245 meaning “watch”.

(ASV)  Then said Jehovah unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I watch over my word to perform it.

(BBE)  Then the Lord said to me, You have seen well: for I keep watch over my word to give effect to it.

Bringing this all back around to why the Lord has chosen to make almonds a prominent item on the candlestick is because of what the candlesticks purpose is for the sanctuary of the Lord.

The almonds represent those who go first and keep the watch over what the Lord is doing in the sanctuary. They are those that are beaten into shape and created so that they can be light in a very dark place.

2Pe 1:19  We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:

We have no better example of almonds representing those that are chosen to go first than that which can be seen in Jesus Christ. How are almonds connected in this way to Jesus Christ?

After the rebellion of Korah and the 250 renowned men of the congregation against Moses and Aaron, the Lord used a very powerful example of what almonds represent in their positive application.

Num 16:1  Now Korah, the son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliab, and On, the son of Peleth, sons of Reuben, took men:
Num 16:2  And they rose up before Moses, with certain of the children of Israel, two hundred and fifty princes of the assembly, famous in the congregation, men of renown:

Num 17:1  And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Num 17:2  Speak unto the children of Israel, and take of every one of them a rod according to the house of their fathers, of all their princes according to the house of their fathers twelve rods: write thou every man’s name upon his rod.
Num 17:3  And thou shalt write Aaron’s name upon the rod of Levi: for one rod shall be for the head of the house of their fathers.
Num 17:4  And thou shalt lay them up in the tabernacle of the congregation before the testimony, where I will meet with you.
Num 17:5  And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel, whereby they murmur against you.
Num 17:6  And Moses spake unto the children of Israel, and every one of their princes gave him a rod apiece, for each prince one, according to their fathers’ houses, even twelve rods: and the rod of Aaron was among their rods.
Num 17:7  And Moses laid up the rods before the LORD in the tabernacle of witness.
Num 17:8  And it came to pass, that on the morrow Moses went into the tabernacle of witness; and, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.

See, no one who is used of God actually chooses for themselves the role of being God’s priest, but that does not stop those who are rebellious against God to accuse God’s priests of exercising Lordship over them. That is what they accused Moses of.

Num 16:13  Is it a small thing that thou hast brought us up out of a land that floweth with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, except thou make thyself altogether a prince over us?

We know that the Lord does the choosing because this is exactly how He chose Aaron and caused Aaron’s rod to blossom and to produce almonds. Likewise, this is how Jesus Christ was chosen and all those who are being raised up as kings and priests in Jesus Christ.

Heb 5:1  For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

Heb 5:2  Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.
Heb 5:3  And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins.
Heb 5:4  And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.
Heb 5:5  So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee.

Aaron’s rod blossoming almonds overnight is a foreshadowing of Jesus Christ blossoming in newness of life from the cross which was also only a dead piece of wood.

 

Candlestick of pure gold – light

 

We now can see that almonds being created as a part of the candlestick had a huge meaning for who it is that the candlestick ultimately represents. However, light is what the candlestick provides for the service of the sanctuary.

We know from Christ that the light of the body is the eye. This candlestick is made of one single piece of gold. Therefore, with this single piece of gold the light can be seen as coming from one place.

Luk 11:33  No man, when he hath lighted a candle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.
Luk 11:34  The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness.

The sanctuary itself did not have windows. During the day, there would have been light from daylight but that wouldn’t have necessarily made it bright enough to do the work of the sanctuary and it is obvious that light would have been needed at night.

Therefore, light was provided for by the candlestick but oil was needed to be the fuel of the light.

The Word of Life is that oil and power source!

Php 2:15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Php 2:16  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

2Co 4:6  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2Co 4:7  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We have the Word of Life dwelling within us, so we have the power of God, the oil which is needed to be the lights of the world.

If you notice the shape of the menorah, there is one main stem in the middle and 3 branches on either side. It’s not hard to see the Christ is the vine and we are the branches in this setup.

Joh 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Joh 15:1  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Joh 15:3  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Vines, branches and fruit all indicate that there is a connection to trees and that’s why the almond tree is a beautiful example given to us by the Lord in the making of the candlestick or lampstand as some translations call it.

There is a well-known story of the candlestick being given to Zechariah in a vision in Zechariah 4.

Zec 4:1  And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
Zec 4:2  And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
Zec 4:3  And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Zec 4:4  So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
Zec 4:5  Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:6  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

Here in Zechariah we see a direct connection to the oil being represented as the Spirit of God. The new testament has familiar examples as well.

Luk 4:18  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Luk 4:19  To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

Act 10:38  How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.

Jas 5:14  Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

1Jn 2:27  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

(ASV) 1Jn 2:19  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us.
1Jn 2:20  And ye have an anointing from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

Notice, that it is two olive trees which are connected to having oil poured OUT OF them into the golden pipes.

Zec 4:7  Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
Zec 4:8  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Zec 4:9  The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.
Zec 4:10  For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
Zec 4:11  Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?
Zec 4:12  And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?
Zec 4:13  And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:14  Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

The two anointed ones stand by the Lord and pour out the oil which they themselves have been anointed with.

As can be seen by those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the Holy Spirit has revealed that gold, almonds (watching) and olive oil (Holy Spirit and power of God the Father) are VERY important to our Christian lives today. We are the priests who are being trained up first on how to handle the items of the sanctuary and to do the duty of a priest which is to keep His commandments faithfully.

In our next study, we are going to continue with Exodus 26 and see how the various linens are used in the sanctuary and how they too have a direct spiritual application to our lives today.

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