When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand. – Numbers 8:2
Among the various preparations for traveling onward, we come across an instruction about the lampstand. It is connected to the consecration of the Levites since they are the ones to care for the lampstand. The lampstand resembled a blossoming tree and symbolized the tree of life. The Tabernacle signifies the gracious restoration of Paradise. The lamp was also a source of light, thus representing the blessing that in the darkness of this sinful world, the LORD continues to give light, His revelation.
In Exodus 25 and 37, you can find instructions on how to make the lampstand. In Numbers 8, the emphasis is on the use of this lampstand. It was placed on the north side of the Holy Place opposite the table of showbread. The priests would go between these two on their way from the main altar to the altar of incense. They needed light to be able to see as they walked to the altar and back to the people. Thus, the lamp was essential for the functioning of the priests, for the functioning of the covenant of grace. As the people are getting ready to move on, the LORD reminds them that they can travel onward, when the priests are able to walk in the Holy Place.
The Lord Jesus fulfills the lampstand. He is the light (John 1:4), for He reveals the glory of God. We can only journey onward when we walk in the light of His grace. Let him who has an ear, hear!
Suggestions for prayer
Thank the Lord for the life and light we receive in Christ. Pray that we may walk in the light of His face, with our ears open to His Word.
This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Rev. Douwe G. J. Agema is currently minister of Living Word Canadian Reformed Church in Guelph and also teaches several courses at Covenant Canadian Reformed Teachers’ College.
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