The lampstand and the olive oil
It is a fact: our Christian lives can become dull, uninspiring, weak and even powerless.
That light that the Bible speaks about, our lamp that is supposed to light up the room, our home and our city, sometimes goes dim, or even goes out completely. Why does this happen? How can we prevent that from happening again?
The books of Exodus and Leviticus have a great example of this:
The Lord told Moses to make a lampstand for the tabernacle. “You shall make a lampstand of pure gold. The lampstand shall be made of hammered work: its base its stem, its cups, its calyxes, and its flowers shall be of one piece with it…Their calyxes and their branches shall be of one piece with it, the whole of it a single piece of hammered work of pure gold…and the seven lamps shall be set up so as to give light on the space in front of it.”
Then He commanded the people to make oil for it:
“You shall command the people of Israel that they bring to you pure beaten olive oil for the light, that a lamp may regularly be set up to burn. In the tent of meeting, outside the veil that is before the testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening to morning before the Lord.”
The High Priest Aaron and his sons were instructed to tend the lamps, evening and morning, by keeping oil in the 7 cups of the gold lampstand, which kept the fires burning continuously. This was the light for those in the tabernacle, and the Lord was specific in how they were to be maintained. He knew what was required to keep the flames alive and burning brightly.
We each represent that golden lampstand. 1) The trials that we go through compare to the hammering process it takes to shape the lampstand. They also are an example of God refining us as a pure gold. 2) As the cups in the lamp hold the oil, so are we to house the Holy Spirit in our heart, being willing to let his light, the love of Jesus, burn for all to see.
The Holy Spirit represents the pure olive oil.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
When we don’t take the time to replenish that spiritual oil in our life, to be filled up again by spending time with our Lord in prayer and in reading His Word, then we are left weakened and subdued, resulting in the light of Jesus not exactly shining brightly for all to see. It is only when we maintain a regular time with the Lord, praising and thanking Him for each day for His hand in our life, while learning about who He is and how He desires us to live by reading the Bible, that our fire for Him will remain lit. We must tend to our faith regularly, day and night, without fail. If we don’t, then that passion will sizzle out, and others might not know or see the way to Jesus.
“For so the Lord has commanded us, saying, ‘I have made you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.’”
We as believers and followers of Jesus have each been given this great gift of the Holy Fire in our hearts. It burns like a passion for things that are holy. Let us use this fire and shine the light of Jesus in love!
“And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.”
This morning before work – take a few moments to talk to the Lord, in devotion. This evening before bed – take a few moments to talk to the Lord, in devotion.Tend to that flame. Allow the oil of the Holy Spirit to fill your cup, and let Him shine through you.
“The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”
Food for thought: Seven days without prayer makes one weak (week).
Fun facts: 1. The fresher the olive oil, the better the taste. 2. One olive tree can produce around 4 liters of oil every year, for hundreds of years. 3. Greek people eat an average of 26 liters of olive oil each year!
Lyrics: Fill my cup, Lord, I lift it up, Lord
Come and quench this thirsting in my soul
Bread from Heaven, feed me ’til I want no more
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole
Songwriters: Richard Blanchard
Fill My Cup lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc,
Capitol Christian Music Group