Tabernacle – The Holy Place



When you go past the outer courts, you come in the Holy Place. There are three pieces of furniture in the Holy Place. There is the lampstand, the table of shewbread and the altar of incense where the priest is standing before in the picture below.

the lampstand

(Exo 25:31-32 NIV)  “Make a lampstand of pure gold and hammer it out, base and shaft; its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms shall be of one piece with it. {32} Six branches are to extend from the sides of the lampstand–three on one side and three on the other.

The lampstand is another useful piece of household furniture, especially in a place where there are no windows. There were no windows in the tabernacle, denoting the darkness of the world we live. This candlestick was set in the holy place to be the only source of light. The lampstand is therefore symbolical of the church of God, His only source of light on the earth.

In the Bible, the lampstand represents the church.

(Rev 1:20 NIV)  The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.

The church is the lampstand of God in this dark world. We are called to be the light of the world.

(Mat 5:14-16 NIV)  “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. {15} Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. {16} In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

Jesus used the metaphor of light also because people understand that light is not meant to be concealed. This means that Christians should not leave their lives in such a way that people do not see the light. Do not notice that they are Christians.

Do the people in your workplace know that you are a Christian? If not, your light may be hidden from them and needs to be revealed.

How do we continue to burn brightly for the Lord?

The oil on the cups of the lampstand has to be refilled to allow it to continue burning. We need the anointing of the Holy Spirit to continue burning for the Lord.

Ask the Holy Spirit to make a difference in our life. And to fill us with the oil so that we can be an effective light in the world.

Table of shewbread

(Exo 25:23-30 NIV)  “Make a table of acacia wood–two cubits long, a cubit wide and a cubit and a half high. {24} Overlay it with pure gold and make a gold molding around it. …{30} Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times.

On it there will be 12 loaves of bread representing God’s provision to the 12 tribes of Israel. The shewbread is also known as the Bread of the Presence. The bread therefore reminds us of God’s provision and to rest in the presence of God.

Christ is also the bread. He is our Provider.

(John 6:35 NIV)  Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.

Because Jesus is the Provider, He can give rest to those who will come to Him.

(Mat 11:28 NIV)  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

The table of shewbread reminds us that God is our Provider and we can rest in His presence. Are there things that cause you to have no rest? Why not commit them to God and rest from your worries?

altar of golden incense

(Exo 30:1-3 NIV)  “Make an altar of acacia wood for burning incense. {2} It is to be square, a cubit long and a cubit wide, and two cubits high –its horns of one piece with it. {3} Overlay the top and all the sides and the horns with pure gold, and make a gold molding around it.

Incense is used in the Bible as a symbol of prayer.

(Psa 141:1-2 NIV)  A psalm of David. O LORD, I call to you; come quickly to me. Hear my voice when I call to you. {2} May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

(Rev 5:8 NIV)  And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Having the table of incense in the tabernacle seems to be stating the obvious. That the way to reach the presence of God is through prayer. Yet there are some who think that they are close to God by simply leading a good life. Or they are close to God by going to church.

It is not possible to be close to someone without communication. A couple that does not talk to each other cannot never be close. Likewise, we need to pray if we are to enter into God’s presence. Do you have a regular prayer life?

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