Our studies in Exodus bring us to the third item within the Tabernacle that the Lord commanded Moses to fashion – a golden lampstand. In our day, we tend to take light for granted. We walk into our homes, jobs, or just about anywhere, and with a simple flip of a finger, we have light. This was not the case even as little as one hundred years ago; it took time and effort to light a room. Without any light, the Tabernacle would have been pitch black. So the Lord declares in verse 31 of Exodus 25, “You shall make a lampstand of pure gold.” A beautiful and intricate lamp would serve to shed light within the Tabernacle. The detail of this golden menorah was elaborate; seven lights in total – three on one side, three on the other, and one for the center. This was not your everyday lamp; it is estimated that about seventy-five pounds of gold was fashioned by craftsmen of the highest caliber to build this lampstand that was set apart for God.
The light of the golden lamp served at least two purposes. First, it was to bring light to the Tabernacle, specifically to what was in front of the lamp itself. Exodus 25:37 says, “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.” In front of this lamp stood the Table and the bread of presence. Secondly, the lampstand and its light would point Israel to the Lord. As the priests served in the Tabernacle, the light of the lamp would draw their eyes and hearts the Lord of the Tabernacle.
Likewise, light points us to God, his presence, and His people. 1 John 1:5 says, “God is light.” David declares in 2 Samuel 22:29 “For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness.” Jesus told us that He is the light of the world (John 8:12). John bears witness in his gospel (1:4-5): “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. Jesus also likened the believer to light, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house (Matthew 5:14-15). Praise God who made the light shine in darkness and has shone in our hearts to give the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.