Posted by: Heather | July 2, 2013

One Beaten Work

menorah temple institute

Exodus 25:31  And thou shalt make a candlestick of pure gold: of beaten work shall the candlestick be made: his shaft, and his branches, his bowls, his knops, and his flowers, shall be of the same.

Ahhh…sweet relief!  It’s been much, much too long since I’ve written a blog.  I’ve found seasons of life happen and often get in the way of the best of intentions.  Some major changes have taken place in my family over the past few months, leaving me now with what seems like a bit more time (at least for the moment…with 5 children and a busy household, that can change in an instant).  So, for the current moment, I’ll take advantage of it and write what’s on my heart.

It seems to be such a difficult time for so many right now.  The pressures of society and personal stress continue to stack up until it feels like there’s nothing left to give.  Every imaginable circumstance seems to have reared its ugly head in the lives of people I know, leaving them bewildered and wondering where God is in the midst of it.

A few months ago, God began to deal with me about the candlestick mentioned in Exodus 25.  In this Scripture, we see that God is giving Moses the design for the tabernacle in the wilderness and all of its implements.  The candlestick (known to us today as a 7-branch menorah) was to be positioned in the holy place.  When we see a menorah today, many times it’s a very small piece, just a few inches tall.  These replicas fail to give us a true picture of the size this piece of work actually was.  It was tall enough that the priests would need a ladder to fill the oil reservoirs…over 5 feet.  It must have been nothing short of impressive.

But, what spoke to me out of this scripture was not necessarily the size of the finished work.  It was the process of making it.  Imagine trying to fashion a candlestick with 7 branches, over 5 feet tall, into one piece using gold.  The Bible says (in KJV) that it was ‘one beaten work’.  Other versions use the word ‘hammered’.  The time and skill needed to complete this was no small thing.  In fact, the Holy Spirit rested upon those that would complete the work especially for this task.

I imagined the many blows that hammer must have made to create such a stunning piece.  Over and over, the gold was struck and shaped with skilled hands until something useable and beautiful came into being.  But this piece of furniture wasn’t made just
to sit and look pretty…it had a very special purpose.  The candlestick was to give light in the holy place so the priests could serve their ministry to God in that otherwise very dark place.

As I began to mull this over in my mind, I began to see an intriguing parallel.  So many times, when we’re in the ‘thick’ of hard times, all we can think of is how to get out.  What might be the key that releases us from the prison we feel we’re in?  We don’t like to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced.  But, if we think back over some of the worst times we’ve ever endured, one of two things happened.  Either we decided to give up and give in to the situation, letting it overrun us, or we chose to let God help us through those circumstances and make us stronger.  Although surely we remember many good times, I personally tend to remember how God brought me through the worst times, and worked some things in me through that pain that would end up being a blessing not just to me, but to the others I would eventually minister to in the same situation.

The continued hammering seems excruciating at times, threatening to destroy us.   But there’s one thing we must remember.  The heat and hammering are necessary to set a formless hunk of gold on a journey to becoming a vessel that’s not only beautiful, but capable of holding holy oil and giving light in very dark places.    Unless the gold is heated and beaten, it can’t be formed.  If it can’t be formed, it will never reach its greater destiny…to light the way for others.

Ultimately, God allows us to go through trials.  Some are of our own doing, and others seem to be unwarranted.  The one thing they have in common is that they do a mighty fine job of ‘hammering’.   If we’ll submit to the lessons being taught in those difficult times, we’ll find that the light of Christ will shine through us brilliantly.  We never see the beauty in the beating until the light begins to shine.  But, when it shines, the true Light will draw others out of their darkness.

I Peter 1:6-7  (ESV)  In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

© Copyright Notice: Permission is hereby granted to make copies as long as Promised Land Ministries is properly cited and credited as the author.


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