THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
The Lord said to Moses, “Give Aaron the following instructions: When you set up the seven lamps in the lampstand, place them so their light shines forward in front of the lampstand.”
“Place them so their light shines forward.” I guess there were other options, right? God had to tell Moses which way they should point.
The lights could have been pointed to the wall behind the lampstand. Or up to the ceiling. Or to the right or to the left. Maybe even down.
God wanted the lamps pointing forward. Why?
Why do we point flashlights forward as we walk in the dark? Why are lamps and lights in our homes pointed in a specific direction—like the lamps that are even now pointing at my keyboard?
Because we need the light to illuminate something specific. The path on which we’re walking. The tool being used. The page being read.
So, why did God want the light from the seven lamps in the Tabernacle lampstand pointing forward? Why not up, symbolically illuminating Himself? Why not toward the entrance to the Holy of Holies, where He spoke to Moses and Aaron from between the two cherubim?
The Scriptures are clear that the golden lampstand symbolizes Jesus. The entire structure was fashioned out of pure gold, in the form of a tree with branches. Just those two remind us of Jesus’s sinless life nailed to the cross.
The lampstand was placed in the first section of the Tabernacle, the Holy Place. God commanded the lights of the lampstand to shine forward so that priests and Levite Tabernacle workers entering would see the lights clearly.
So, we must ask ourselves two questions: 1) Is my light shining? And, 2) Which direction is my light pointing?
Jesus is the Light within me. Is the Light within me always pointing up toward heaven so others can’t see it? Of course, it should point up sometimes, so that I can commune with my Father through Jesus, but others can only see the Light if it’s pointing forward.
Is the Light always pointing downward, to illuminate my path? Well, that’s okay sometimes—we must allow the Light to guide us on the path of life. But we must shine the Light at others.
We must not hoard the Light. We must point the Light of Jesus into the lives of those He places around us—in that way, we are yoked together with Him as He draws all men to Himself—the Light of the world.