The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly. Outside the veil of the testimony, in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall arrange it from evening to morning before the LORD regularly. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations. He shall arrange the lamps on the lampstand of pure gold before the LORD regularly.
“You shall take fine flour and bake twelve loaves from it; two tenths of an ephah shall be in each loaf. And you shall set them in two piles, six in a pile, on the table of pure gold before the LORD. And you shall put pure frankincense on each pile, that it may go with the bread as a memorial portion as a food offering to the LORD. Every Sabbath day Aaron shall arrange it before the LORD regularly; it is from the people of Israel as a covenant forever. And it shall be for Aaron and his sons, and they shall eat it in a holy place, since it is for him a most holy portion out of the LORD’s food offerings, a perpetual due.” – Leviticus 24:1-9 (ESV)
The Golden Lampstand in the Tabernacle was a picture of God’s gracious presence with His people in Ancient Israel; but it also pointed forward to the time when God would Tabernacle among us as Immanuel – God with us – where Jesus would plainly declare: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” How wicked and perverse it is that so many then and now reject him bring just judgment upon themselves: “And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” Thankfully, that isn’t the end of the story. The Golden Lampstand not only pointed to Christ at His first coming but to our life with Him after His Second coming. In Revelation 21 and 22 we read of the New Jerusalem that awaits all those who trust in Jesus. There the Apostle John tells us:
And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, 25 and its gates will never be shut by day- and there will be no night there. 26 They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations. 27 But nothing unclean will ever enter it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or false, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
If we focus on the darkness and all the wickedness we see in this world it could easily leave us to despair. But the Golden Lampstand reminds us that we are not to focus upon the darkness but on the Light of Life. We are to remember that the Sovereign LORD will not allow sin to have the final word. Man’s rebellious NO! to God will ultimately be swallowed up by God’s Yes! and Amen! In Christ Jesus our Lord. So, let us look to Jesus – the author and finisher of our faith – with the confidence that because of His life, death, and resurrection; one day the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the LORD even as the waters cover the sea. And let us remember that “if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.”
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 69
Q. 69. What is forbidden in the sixth commandment?
A. The sixth commandment forbiddeth the taking away of our own life, or the life of our neighbor unjustly, or whatsoever tendeth thereunto.