The Tabernacle of Moses ~ The Light 6
The Tabernacle of Moses – The Light 6
You may wonder why I choose to focus on certain points of interest within this study of the Tabernacle and leave out others, or not go into great depth on certain topics, like … the Priesthood according the pattern of the Melchizedek, or the number 7 found in the candlestick lending to the number of perfection. Or the priestly garment of the ephod and breast piece which has stones representing all of Israel on it, as the priest carries the names of each tribe into the presence of God. These are for YOU to research and ponder. I purposely leave gaps, areas left to create an interest on your part, so you too would dig! So don’t grow frustrated, grow fascinated! God’s word is exciting!
From bronze to gold. From fine to … really fine! As we journey through the Tabernacle, we have encountered the lamb, the laver and now the light. We have stood outside the courtyard, admired from afar, sacrificed at the altar (the lamb), washed in the washbasin (the laver). Now we enter the Holy Place and see the lampstand (the light). Exodus chapter 25 describes the lampstand, and chapter 27 the oil for the lampstand.
It is the first piece of furniture noticed as we enter, sitting to the left of the entrance. Opposite it – is the Table of Shewbread, off to the right. And the Altar of Incense – directly ahead, sitting in front of the veil that separates the Holy Place from the MOST Holy Place, where there… dwells the ark of the covenant, the Mercy Seat.
The candelabra is the only source of light within the many layered coverings of the tent. There were no windows, or sky lights. Not even any portable Halogen lighting set up, aimed and highlighting each piece of furniture. Isn’t that how we would light it today, bring in all those bright yellow lights on a stand, so bright, there would be a need to cover your eyes. Nor did Aaron have a ‘head lamp’ strapped to his forehead. No, without the oil and fire creating the light it would be completely …. dark.
Up to this point the articles of furniture have been made of bronze (the altar and laver). Once inside the Holy Place, the closer we get to the presence of God, the materials are now made of gold – the scriptures are very careful to identify these as … pure gold. The lampstand alone is said to weigh up to 75 pounds, and worth a full talent of gold, this is estimated as being worth in today’s standard close to a million and a half dollars. WOW! One thing to remember, the Israelites were still wandering in the wilderness, the key word here… wandering. Meaning the Tabernacle was designed to be portable. Wouldn’t you like to be the one put in charge of lugging the 75 pound HIGHLY valuable candlestick from camp to camp?
Each day the priest was to come in and attend to the oil. The oil needing replenishing daily, I’ll say that again… daily… keeping the fire burning (how’s your oil supply?). There was a prescribed recipe of pressed olive oil to be used. The oil known for a healing agent, yet when combined with fire it becomes the element of light, (hm…think on that). I find it interesting that the daily requirements of the priesthood includes sacrifice, washing, keeping the oil filled, and the incense burning. Notice I made that statement ‘present tense’. WE are a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:5,9).
Light – I have been pondering this, rolling it around, carrying notes with me for a couple of weeks now. MUCH to consider! The lampstand the only source of light in the Tabernacle. A friend and I have been discussing ‘light’. He brought up that light was 1st in creation, love the word picture it gives (just as the priest entered the Holy Place he first encountered the light)
Genesis chapter 1 ‘In the beginning God created…’ (verse 3) God said let there be light, and there was light. God saw that the light was good and He separated the light from the darkness’. Amazing, the first recorded statement of God, is … light. It wouldn’t make for a great flannel graph lesson if the animals came first as they wandered around in the dark, doesn’t God think ahead! All the Sunday School teachers are waving their hands with a hardy ‘AMEN!’ (giggle)
Think for a moment what it would be like withOUT light. The brilliance of color would be dull, (if we could see it at all) detail would be diminished. A rainbow for instance, as the light captures moisture in the air, it creates the most beautiful array of color. A diamond would be seen just as another stone, even a piece of glass without the light sparkling through it.
Today you can have a cube shaped piece of crystal mounted on a lit spinning base, with an etched image inside it. This is known as 3D Laser Etching. The laser light is aimed and then disrupts the internal structure of the crystal, leaving an engraved imprint. The Lord showed me how light (a very intense HOT light) can penetrate our hearts and literally ‘etch’ HIM there. One website had this to say about their etched product … ‘individual works of art that are skillfully created by our master craftsman’. THAT is what I am seeking! That the Lord (the Master Craftsman) so penetrate my inner being, that I am disrupted and all that is left is … HIM… and He alone shining thru.
Light has been used as a symbol of the presence of God throughout the Bible. We find it as the Lord presented Himself to Abraham as the burning lamp (or pots) as it passed through the sacrifices. And Moses at the burning bush, and the Pillar of Fire to the Israelites. My favorite of all is … Jesus. He says “I am the Light of the World” (Jn. 8:12). As Jesus is seen stronger and stronger in our lives, we are a reflection of His light to others. As the sun reflects off the moon to give light to the night, so we too are to reflect His light to the darkened world. We are light-bearers. Matthew 5:14-16 speaks of this:
You (me and YOU!) are the light of the world. A city
on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light
a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they
put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone
in the house. In the same way, let your light
shine before men, that they may see your
good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Why are we shining our light? And for what reason are others to see it? That they praise the Father! It is for the glory of God that Jesus is seen in and through us! This attracting others to HIM.
God’s light is divine and definitely NOT made of any human resources, like that of the light bulb, or a flashlight. Both of which require a power source to run it. God is the power source.
It is the presence of God that illuminates our path, our lives, our hearts, minds … the list is vast! As Aaron performed his daily priestly duties, he NEEDED the light to do and BE the priest. God provides for this need, He provides HIMSELF!
May we too seek His presence, as He illuminates all over, in and through us! May He etch His character, name and love on our hearts. Let Jesus SHINE!
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 You thrill me, LORD … thank you for Your light!)