20 “And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually. 21 In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which is before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel.” Exodus 27: 20-21
Care for the Eternal Light within you.
After Moses and the Israelites escaped from Egypt they were living in the wilderness of Sinai. God said to Moses “Let them (Israelites) construct a sanctuary for Me, that I may dwell among them. (Exodus 25: 8) Exodus 25-31 are instructions that God gave Moses to build a portable tabernacle so that God could have a place to dwell among them and the Israelites could have a place to worship and atone for their sins. And as Israel traveled through the wilderness the tabernacle would go with them. God’s dwelling place was always with them.
Now the tabernacle was well thought out by God. Every material used and every item within the tabernacle grounds has significant symbolism that is representative of our savior Jesus Christ and our faith and relationship with Him. For now, I want to point out the significance of the lampstand. In English Bible translations we say “lamp or lampstand”, but in the Hebrew translation it is “Ner Tamil”. Ner Tamil means eternal light. I quite like the Hebrew term a thousand times better!
God instructed the Israelites to make a lampstand out of gold. He then commanded the Israelites to supply oil to keep the Eternal Light burning continuously. Never going out day or night. This represents our spiritual life. We need to continually keep giving oil to our lamp to keep the eternal light within us burning. What is our oil? Prayer, reading the Bible, spending time with God, worshiping Him.
Apply this to your life now: The eternal light is Jesus within us. We must tend to that relationship daily with prayer and worship and spending time in the Bible and have been commanded to do so! God reveals to us in this scripture that he commanded our eternal spirit to be continuously oiled, continuously focused on Jesus, so that our eternal light will never go out.
The placement of the eternal light is significant as well. It was placed in the room called the Holy Place. The Holy Place was before the veil, before the room called the Holy of Holies where God dwelled. (Reference the picture of my drawn out tabernacle diagram.) The veil back then represented the separation between us and God. (Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross removed that veil. Reference Matthew 27:51) So our eternal light needs to be burning now, putting off light now, before we reach God heavenward. The lamp was not placed in the Holy of Holies with God, it was placed in the Holy Place. Only the high priest was allowed to go into the Holy of Holies once a year. Meaning if the lamp was placed in the dwelling place of God, it would have done no one any good. Our light needs to be burning continuously and it needs to be burning where others can see our love and faith in Jesus Christ. The purpose of the eternal light within us is not so we can light it when we get to heaven, it is so we can light up the earth now.
The scripture also says the eternal light is placed before the Testimony. Before we reach God heavenward we will give an account/ a statement/ a testimony of our lives to Him one day (Romans 14:12). Our eternal light is placed before that testimony we will give. God’s hope for us is that we tend to our lamp and keep it burning so that when we give our account of our life we can say we kept our eternal light burning. Now by grace through our faith in Jesus Christ we are saved, but let us not forget it is not God’s only intention for us to believe in our Saviour, it is His intention to dwell within us, to be a part of us, a light within us. He wants to see us feeding our lamp with oil now, then one day giving Him an account of our burning eternal light for Christ, and afterwards entering heavenward to dwell with Him.