Hearts in Fellowship
This week in our study we joyfully entered the holy place. This large room constituting the first two-thirds of the tabernacle housed three holy vessels. Each symbolized the privilege of serving God and fellowshipping with Him in some unique way. Two of them - the golden lampstand and the table of the bread of Presence - preoccupied our thoughts throughout week 5 while the altar of incense awaits us. Today we will return to the golden lampstand and see what additional light God may grant us. Review Exodus 25:31-40.
More Insights on the Lampstand
1. The echo of Eden. Compare Exodus 25:40 to Numbers 8:1-4.
Hear from Vern S. Poythress in The Shadow of Christ in the Law of Moses: "The tabernacle is a renewed version of the Garden of Eden. But curtains with cherubim on them still bar the way into God's Presence, just as cherubim barred the way into the original Garden of Eden after the Fall (Genesis 3:24)."
2. The suggestion of the branches, buds, and blossoms (v. 33). "It is a message about time, the familiar cycle of growth of plants, springtime, summer, and harvest." He goes on to say, "This strange tree has buds, blossoms, almond flowers, and fruit all at once, because it must be a static picture of the whole cycle of time that God has created and sustains."
3. The significance of the almond flowers (v. 33).
Compare Jeremiah 1:11-12. The Hebrew word for almond (shaqed) "is related to the Hebrew word for 'watch' (shaqad)." According to the JPS Torah Commentary on Exodus, the stem sh-q-d means "to be watchful, wakeful, vigilant."
- The almond tree is "the earliest spring-flowering plant in the land of Israel, often even before the end of February."
- The NEB conveys the overtone: "I am early on the watch (soqed) to carry out my purpose" (Jeremiah 1:12).
4. The continued combined imagery of the tree and the lampstand. This is a great time for a reminder of the kind of oil used in the lampstand. (See Leviticus 24:1-4.) Now compare Zechariah 4:1-14 and Revelation 11:1-4.
5. Reread Leviticus 24:4. The exhortation to tend the lampstand continually. Compare this to John 15:1-3.