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Seeds of the Kingdom

The Lampstand

by Goran Andersson

‘They made the lampstand of pure gold and hammered it out, base and shaft; its flowerlike cups, buds and blossoms were of one piece with it.’
Exodus 37:17, NIV

The tabernacle with its various utensils and equipment may seem a strange thing to us and most Bible readers probably find it more boring than edifying to read some of the descriptions of that tent. But, believe it or not, Romans 15:4 makes the point that even those minute descrip¬tions of the tabernacle that was carried through the wilderness thousands of years ago, has some¬thing to teach us: ‘For everything that was written in the past, was written to teach us...’.

The lampstand is pictured as a beautiful piece of art. And it was put to holy use, in a holy place, where holiness was the order. Does that teach us something about our high calling to do holy service unto God? Maybe, and if so, let´s have a look at some interesting points.

There were many things that had to be done before that lampstand stood in the tabernacle with its lamps lit for service. First, where did all that gold come from? Just for the lampstand, almost 30 kilos of pure gold was used. Where do you find that in a desert? It was not dug up out of the sand, but was brought from Egypt, given by neighbours to the Israelites when they left. That gold had had different shapes and been used for different things. Some might have been pieces of jewellery, some a family’s savings and another part may possibly even have been an idol.

How were those 'not very holy' artefacts changed into things fit for holy use? By melting and hammering. The point is that whenever God desires something or someone for holy use, He is, because of the sin in this world, limited to use only things and people that have a history and background of unholiness. There is nothing else available. But sin has never hindered God from creating holiness.

None of us were born saints, just as the golden lampstand did not arise complete and ready out of the sand. There had to be a melting and a hammering, a shaping and a forming and through that, God could make us ready for holy use.

Whatever your past has been, never let that hinder you. Your background is neither qualification, nor disqualification, when you want to serve God. God is well aware of what you have been through, but when you turn yourself over to the Master, He will, through heat and hammering, make you perfect for His use. And if today is a day of tough shaping, remember that God is using that for His purposes!

Then He may take you off the heat and give you a pause in the hammering, test you and do some more; and some more; and some more. And when He decides it is time for you to go into service, you know one thing: You are the work of His hands, He has formed you and whatever you do, it brings glory to Him and joy to you. You will find that the tough days brought a result you had never dared to dream of. You may do holy service to a holy God and make the place where you stand, holy ground.

Prayer: I thank You God, that my past does not disqualify me from being loved and accepted by You. And I thank You, that even in the tough times of shaping and forming, You are there with me, guiding, supporting and strengthening me. May my service be wholly unto You and a blessing to others. In Jesus name, Amen.

Goran Andersson , together with his wife Roswitha, worked as missionaries in Japan from 1967 – 1985. They then pastored a church before moving to Kåfalla Herrgård, Sweden where Goran became Director. They have worked with Ellel Ministries since 2004 and are now part of the team of Ellel Ministries in Sweden.

 

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