As with everything God does, there is always order and symmetry. When God gave instructions to make the candlestick for the tabernacle, it was going to have the most wonderful meaning to it. It would be the very first “menorah.”
It was to have a main shaft with three shafts extending out from the main one on each side, making a seven-bowl lamp. It was to be beaten or shaped out of pure gold. God even told them how much gold to use; it was to be one talent (that is approximately 75 pounds of gold. In today’s market, the candlestick would be worth over 1.5 million dollars). Decorating the shafts of the stick were knops (bulges) then an almond flower. This pattern was to be repeated up each shaft. On the very top of the shaft, there was to be a bowl in the shape of an almond. By having the almond shape, the priest would fill it with olive oil and lay a long wick down into the oil. After soaking in the oil, he would then pull a small end of the wick over to the pointed end and let the wick lay there, ready to be lit.
The center shaft was always to be lit first, then the others were lit from the main light (or fire). On a menorah, the center shaft is called the “servant” candle (of course, this is one of the many names of titles for Jesus our Savior). When the tabernacle was assembled, there were boards that were connected with poles going through hoops on the back sides of the boards. These boards stood side by side, creating a solid wall of gold (remember they were to be covered in gold too). The “door” of the tabernacle (it would have been a tent flap) would be facing east. So, facing east, the candlestick was to be placed on the south side of the room.
Everyday Aaron and his sons were to come into the tabernacle, refill the lamp with oil, trim the wicks, making sure that the light never went out. Because of the gold walls, the light from the lamp illuminated the whole room, so they could see where to put out new bread each day on the shewbread table and burn incense on the altar before the curtain (the Ark of the covenant was located behind the thick curtain).
Here is a picture of Jesus, lighting the way for our service for Him, not bright light, but just enough to see where we need to be at the time. Fast forward to Revelation chapter two … John the Apostle describes for us what he sees in heaven. There is Jesus, standing in the middle of seven lampstands (He is always at the center). The lampstands represent the churches of Asia, and dispensations of time throughout church history. From one end of the scriptures to the other, God is always consistent, revealing Himself to us. The lampstand of the tabernacle was pure gold (representing Jesus and His Deity). It was to be beaten into shape (reminding us of how our Savior was beaten in our place). The oil of the lampstand represents the Holy Spirit and how He indwells us in this dispensation of church history.
The work of Aaron and his sons, shows how God wants to partner with us to accomplish His will here on earth. I find great beauty in all of this information. I hope that it has been a blessing for you to as we have looked into it together.