Lamps and Stands

Day 54

Prayer for the day

Sing to the LORD, you servants of his; give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness. For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye, his favour for a lifetime.

Scripture for the day

Numbers 7-8, Mark 4:21-41

The Bible is full of light. Not simply full of truth, but of talk about light. In the beginning, God creates light. A few days later, He creates the sun, moon, and stars. He provides light to the people of Israel in the pillar of fire. Early in the Second Testament, Jesus is referred to as the light. Later on (at the end, actually) when heaven descends to earth and God makes His dwelling with humanity, we will have no need of the sun, because the glory of God will provide our light.

Light is important in the scriptures, both actually and as a metaphor.

In the book of Numbers, God commands that the lamps are to be set up so that they cast light before the lampstand, that it would be visible. Was this to show off the beauty of the stand, or to provide light, or for some mysterious reason known only to God. We don’t really know, and it doesn’t really matter. What is important ist he God commanded the lamps to be set a certain way and that Aaron was to obey, even in this small way. The lamps and the lampstands represented God’s care for the life of the people (the various carvings could be interpreted to represent life and fertility). The light was to shine as a reminder of God’s provision.

In the book of Mark, Jesus warns the disciples and those around him to allow their light to shine. He states that no one lights a lamp and hides it away. Its purpose is to illuminate, to banish the darkness, and to show what was hidden.

Jesus’ exhortation and the talk of light in Numbers both show us that God is desirous of things remaining open, not hidden. That God desires people to be open and honest, to spread the light of the good news of Jesus so that it will banish our falseness and our hidden doings. We are to live as people of the light, illuminating the darkness around us.

Let us live as light.

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