This morning I was reading about the construction of the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant, and the altar of the Lord. In the end of chapter 27 the people are instructed to supply the Tabernacle with oil so that the lamp stands inside never run out. They were to keep the fire burning and to never let them burn out. There has been much speculation about what this light means. I like to think of it as a neon sign announcing "OPEN". The tabernacle was the place where people made contact with God, and the light was always on. Kinda of like Tom Bodett says in the Motel 6 commercials says, "We'll leave the light on for you!"
What about people in the New Testament era who are no longer required to go to a certain place to meet God? The connection maybe a stretch but I'd like us to consider the words of Jesus. In Matthew 5:14-15 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father."
What if the light went out in the Tabernacle? That was the one place on the planet where people could go to encounter the living God. Righteous Jews traveled for days to come there and worship. What if the lights were out? What if those priests had failed to do their jobs and the lights of the Tabernacle went out? Maybe a better question is, "what happens if our light goes out?" There are no holy places any longer. There is no holy location where the faithful can travel to worship God. We are now the temple of God, and thus Jesus calls us the "light of the world." But what happens if the light goes out? Jesus doesn't get the increase. The Father doesn't receive praise. People miss out on a chance to worship...because the priests of the new temple (us) had let the light run out. Let your lights shine Christians! Let no one come to our temple and find the lights out...shine on!
Read the Bible in One Year Plan: Exodus 25-27