Summary: God’s desire is to have His people enlightened and able to enlighten by the power of the Spirit of God. God’s plan for Israel was for her to be light to the nations. God’s plan for His redeemed Spirit filled Church is for her to be the light of the world
ZECHARIAH 4: 1-5
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
(The Lampstand in The Fifth Vision)
[Isa. 9:1-7; 60:1-3; 62:1-2]
These visions supplement one another beautifully . The previous vision of the removal of the filthy garments [by the pre-incarnate Christ] indicating how moral obstacles were to be removed from God’s people. The fifth vision shows how political & spiritual obstacles are to be overcome.
Once Israel obtained deliverance, or salvation from the Servant Branch they were to become a Living Temple, built and indwelt by God. Israel of old would then be prepared to conquer their outward spiritual and political oppression by allowing her inner salvation to shine out to the heathen nations.
God’s desire is to have His people enlightened and able to enlighten by the power of the Spirit of God (CIM). God’s plan for the nation of Israel was for her to be light to the nations. God’s plan for His redeemed Spirit filled Israel, the Church, is for her to be the light of the world.
The 5th vision will be divided into three messages. The 1st segment of chapter 4 which we will be dealing with in this message is the symbolism of the vision. Let us sub-divide our text into:
I. THE AWAKENING, 1.
II. THE VISION, 2-3.
III. THE SYMBOLISM, 4-5.
I. THE AWAKENING, 1.
The young prophet’s inner being is awakened again in verse 1 so that he might truly see what the Lord is revealing. Then the angel who was speaking with me returned, and roused me as a man who is awakened from his sleep.
To assure the communication of this vision the prophet is awakened. [It is the only one of all the visions which indicates that the prophet was awakened. Though he would need to be alerted or roused to all the visions for fallen man is dull and insensitive to experiences with God and exhausted by them.] The interpreting angel does not bring the vision but awakens the prophet that he may behold it. We too cannot save anyone but we can awaken them that they may look upon salvation.
From the state of spiritual lethargy, the prophet had to be aroused to a condition of spiritual receptivity. The change from the prophet’s ordinary condition into a state in which the prophet was capable of appropriating the divine vision can be compared to the state of a man in deep sleep to a man in an ordinary state of wakefulness. [Though Zechariah was absorbed in meditating upon what had previously been revealed.]
Note, we need the Spirit of God not only to make known to us divine things, but also to make us take notice of them (Isa. 1:4). We should ask of God that whenever He speaks to us, He would awaken us so that we would stir ourselves up. Read Luke 9:32.
[A similar stirring up is used with other prophets (Jer. 1:11, 13; Amos 7:8; 8:2) so that they may grasp what is revealed and enabled to set it before the people. For Peter’s vision read Acts 10:10ff].
First, the awakening, second:
II. THE VISION, 2-3.
In verse 2 Zechariah is asked to clarify what he was now capable of seeing. And he said to me, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it.
The interpreting angel asks the prophet what he sees in order to cause the prophet to focus on the vision. Man, even in a spiritually endued enraptured condition, is so blinded by his fallen nature that he does not readily grasp divine truth. Not everyone sees what he looks at. Those who draw or paint realize that fact. Once his attention had been called into seeing, the outstanding feature of the vision is indicated by the behold.
He beheld, and from the description of the central figure, it was a lampstand. The word translated ‘lampstand’ is menorah. Commonly it was a stand or support for lamps. This one was solid gold. Gold suggests purity and preciousness. This one was similar to the one which had been hammered out of a single talent of gold for the tabernacle (Ex. 25:31ff, 37:17ff). The golden lampstand in the Holy Place had seven branches, or more properly, six branches proceeding from a central stem. These six branches, three on each side, rose to the same height but a little below the height of the central bowl which crowned the main stem of the candlestick. The branches are hollow and are conductors for the oil which is conveyed or channeled from the central stem through these six pipes or branches. At the top of the central stem and of the six branches were seven lamps or bowls into which long wicks (narrow woven fabric) were inserted. When lit these seven bowl lamps provided light in the Holy Place.