The majority of this passage continues on from yesterday’s, continuing to list the offerings from the tribes to the altar.
This chapter closes with a reminder of how God used to speak to Moses when he went to the holy place. The tabernacle was no empty shrine, but the palace of the living and breathing God.
The first 4 verses of chapter 8 are about setting up the lamps and what Aaron had to do when he entered the holy place. Aaron, head of the priestly tribe, had to attend to the lampstand each day in the holy place. The lampstand in the tent of meeting, along with the altar in the court of the tabernacle were the two parts of the sanctuary which required the priest’s attention twice a day. The lampstand is described in detail in Exodus 15:31-40. It is made from solid gold and was shaped like a seven branched flowering tree symbolising the life-giving power of God.
The four verses at the start of chapter 8 mention particularly that Aaron is to position the lamps at the end of each branch so that they give light in front of the lampstand. It is not explicitly clear why this is so particular until you take into account the design of the holy place. The light beaming forward meant it shone on the table of showbread, illuminating 12 loaves of bread that symbolised the 12 tribes of Israel. This arrangement visually portrayed God’s intention for us to live in His light and presence.
So, do we live continually in His light and presence? We are reminded in John 1:5 that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. Living in God’s light means putting our trust in Him and knowing that His perfect love casts out fear. We might feel scared and alone, but stepping out of the shadow and into His presence will illuminate our lives, and therefore we shine out God’s light to others. Our relationship with God is for our benefit, knowing Him personally enriches us and how we live and allows our light to shine. We have to take that first step and work on this relationship, read our bible (well done for doing that right now!), pray, worship Him with whatever gifts you have been blessed with.
Loving God, I thank you for the light you shine into my life, so that I don’t need to live in fear of the future. Your perfect love casts out all fear and I ask for the longing in my heart to delve into your word and pray to You so the light can shine through me.