‘SHINE OUT’ in this WORLD as GOD’s LAMPSTAND
January 26 Bible Reading: Exodus Chapters 25-27
"You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work…And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel." (Exodus 25:31; 27:20-21)
Among the different articles placed on the tabernacle, the golden lampstand (Exo. 25:31–40) stood in the holy place, opposite the table of showbread. It held seven lamps, flat bowls in which a wick lay with one end in the oil of the bowl and the lighted end hanging out. The purpose of this lampstand was to illuminate the interior of the tabernacle at all times. It was the responsibility of Aaron, the High Priest and his priestly descendants to maintain the lampstand, and to make sure that wick is lighted up always with a continuing supply of olive oil that was donated by the Israelites (Exo. 27:20–21).
According to the rabbinical teachings recorded in the Mishnah, the pure oil of pressed olives produced for the lamp was clear, colorless, and of the highest quality (see Lev. 24:1- 4). To obtain the oil, olives were gently pounded in a bowl and the oil was extracted from the pulp. The purity of the oil was indicative of the standard God demanded for all sacrifices offered to Him. We are never to offer God anything that is mediocre!
The “the tabernacle of meeting” (or, “the tent of meeting”) speaks of a provisional tent erected by Moses that would be God’s dwelling place in the wilderness (33:7). Even before a description was given of the garments and consecration of the priests, provision was already made for perpetual light in the sanctuary. The lamp was the golden lampstand that stood on the south side of the holy place, and produced a bright, pure light with little smoke. It was to burn continually—that is “from evening until morning”. The oil to be burned in the lampstand was tended by Aaron and his sons “before the Lord” (v. 21). Priestly ministry was for the benefit of the people, but was only to be done in God’s presence and with His approval. We see that even though the oil produced the light, the priests had to work in order to keep the light burning!
The spiritual lesson that we can learn is that like the lampstand kept inside the tabernacle, God has placed us within His church (Rev. 1:12, 20). Just like the lampstand needs the pure olive oil to shine, we need the Holy Spirit to shine in our dark world. Just like the lampstand stood in the holy place and helped the priests to see as they served, we should help God’s ministers to keep His light shining brightly. One thing to observe is that the light coming out from the lampstand did not illuminate the entire Israelite camp; it was the glory of God that did that (Exod. 40:38). When we shine faithfully as God’s lampstand, God’s glory will be revealed to the people living in the dark world outside. Let’s keep our lamps trimmed and our light shining…always!
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt 5:14-16)