“You shall also make a lampstand of pure gold; the lampstand shall be of hammered work…. You shall make seven lamps for it, and they shall arrange its lamps so that they give light in front of it. And its wick-trimmers and its trays shall be of pure gold. It shall be made of a talent of pure gold, with all these utensils. And see to it that you make them according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain, Exodus 25:31, 37-40 NKJV.
He also made the lampstand of pure gold; of hammered work he made the lampstand…. And he made its seven lamps, its wick-trimmers, and its trays of pure gold. Of a talent of pure gold he made it, with all its utensils, Exodus 37:17, 23-24 NKJV.
This is the second piece of furniture in the holy place – the first compartment of the tabernacle. It’s perhaps the most important piece, if “rank” can be assigned to these pieces, because by it the priest could see the other pieces and could see where he was and where he was going.
Scripture has a great deal to say about “light.”
One thing it says is in John 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it, vs. 1-4.
These verses tell us that God is the source of light, or, more specifically, “the Word,” the Lord Jesus, is that source. In Genesis 1:3, God said, “Let there be light,” and created light as something distinct from Himself, who, Himself, is Light, 1 John 1:5.
John 1 further says that life itself is “light:” the life was the light of men. Life itself tells us that there is “more to life” than life. This is spite of the fact that evolution tells us that man is just a sad, essentially useless cosmic accident, with no purpose or meaning. This world and all that’s in it will wend its way through the ages that remain until the Sun, with its last dying gasp, flames out and extinguishes everything.
But man knows innately that there is something more “out there.” How many religions and philosophies there are which want “to ascend,” want to leave this physical plane for some “spiritual” something or other that is said to be superior to, and “beyond,” ordinary life.
1. Light guides us.
I’m thinking here of the old sailing days, before GPS and all the electronic gadgets that we have. Old time sailors were not without their own navigational aids in the stars and Sun and lighthouses and a lot of knowledge that I’m afraid is pretty much lost to us. We can’t hardly go to the corner store without consulting Alexa or some other electronic device. Even then, our eyes are glued to our phones, to the extent that, according to the latest news, “distracted driving” has become a major problem and is an increasing cause of traffic accidents and deaths.
To the old-timers, a lighthouse was a welcome sight.
Scripture also guides us and gives us some indication as well as to what is “out there.” It tells us that there is indeed more to life than life and that when this life is over, life itself is not over.
There’s a story told of a little country church that was surrounded by fields belonging to an atheist. The church wasn’t air-conditioned and, in warm weather, had to have its windows open. One spring, this atheist planted his fields on a Sunday, plowed and tended them especially on Sunday when the church was in session, and, finally, harvested them on a Sunday. After he was done, he wrote to the editor of the local paper: “I planted my fields on Sunday, took care of them on Sunday, and harvested them on Sunday. I didn’t pay any attention to god and I had a bumper crop this September! What do you think about that?” The editor printed the letter, but then answered, “My friend, God doesn’t settle His accounts in September.”
“God doesn’t settle His accounts in September.” But He will settle them!
It is appointed to men to die once, but after this the judgment, Hebrews 9:27, emphasis added.
2. Light discovers.
You can see stuff in the light that is hidden in the darkness. That’s why, almost invariably, when people go into a dark room, even a familiar one, they turn on the light. In the same way, Scripture lights up the darkness of this world so that we can see things to avoid – or to receive.
I heard someone the other day who called Christians, “God’s flashlights.” That’s not a bad analogy. We’re here to shine in the darkness of this world, in order to guide people to the light of the Gospel.
3. Light can be overpowering.
When I was in Bible College, one of my fellow-students in the dorm, if I remember the wattage correctly, decided to get a 1000 watt light bulb. It’s been over 50 years, but I remember vividly that when you walked into the room and turned on the light, it almost knocked you over, it was so bright. Needless to say, the administration took a dim view of this and made him get a smaller bulb!
This is what happened to Saul of Tarsus as he was intent on wiping out the name of Jesus. On the road to Damascus, with no thought of anything but that, he saw “a light from heaven, brighter than the Sun, shining around him and his party. It turned him and his life completely around, to the point that he was preaching salvation through the very Name that he had just a day or so before tried to destroy!
He saw the Light and it overpowered him.
That’s what light does to the darkness. It doesn’t negotiate with it. It doesn’t try to “woo” it or reason with it. It simply shines, and the darkness is gone!
4. Light isn’t always welcome.
God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed, John 3:17-20, emphasis added.
Men don’t like to be told they’re sinners, or that, apart from the Lord Jesus, they stand condemned in the sight of God. They want to believe the devil’s lie that they’re all right. As the saying was, a few years ago, “I’m ok, you’re ok.” The problem is that, apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, I’m not ok, and neither are you.
The Lord Jesus has come and turned on the light!
What does it reveal?
Have folks come to the Light?
Or have they, like rats and roaches, scuttled back into the darkness?
Thank the Lord, many have indeed come to it, but many more have rejected it.
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven,” Matthew 5;16.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved,” Acts 16:31.