Aaron Puts the Gold Lamps in Place
2 Peter 1:16-19 (New International Version)
We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountain.
And we have the word of the prophets made more certain, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.
1The LORD said to Moses, 2” Tell Aaron to put the seven lamps on the lamp stand so they shine toward the front.”
3Aaron obeyed and placed the lamps as he was told. 4The lamp stand was made of hammered gold from its base to the decorative flowers on top, exactly like the pattern the LORD had described to Moses.
The light of the candlestick points to the Lord Jesus Christ, who said,
“I am the light of the world” (John 9:5),
and to the spoken and written Word of God, as David said,
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105).
and to the church, as the First and the Last said,
“As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lamp stands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lamp stands are the seven churches” (Revelation 1:20).
HERE is “Jesus, the Light of the World,” a Christmas song from the late 1800’s. I think it will raise your spirits if you sing along!
Instructions for Ordaining the Levites
5The LORD said to Moses:
6The Levites must be acceptable to me before they begin working at the sacred tent. So separate them from the rest of the Israelites 7and sprinkle them with the water that washes away their sins. Then have them shave their entire bodies and wash their clothes.
8They are to bring a bull and its proper grain sacrifice of flour mixed with olive oil. And they must bring a second bull as a sacrifice for sin.
9Then you, Moses, will call together all the people of Israel and have the Levites go to my sacred tent, 10where the people will place their hands on them. 11Aaron will present the Levites to me as a gift from the people, so that the Levites will do my work.
from Matthew Henry’s Commentary, first published in 1721:
All who expect to share in the privileges of the tabernacle, must resolve to do the service of the tabernacle. As, on the one hand, none of God’s creatures are his necessary servants, he needs not the service of any of them; so none are merely honorary servants, to do nothing. All whom God owns, he employs; angels themselves have their services.
What is your service for God today?
12After this, the Levites are to place their hands on the heads of the bulls. Then one of the bulls will be sacrificed for the forgiveness of sin, and the other to make sure that I am pleased. 13The Levites will stand at my altar in front of Aaron and his sons, who will then dedicate the Levites to me.
14This ceremony will show that the Levites are different from the other Israelites and belong to me in a special way. 15After they have been made acceptable and have been dedicated, they will be allowed to work at my sacred tent. 16They are mine and will take the place of the first-born Israelite sons. 17When I killed the oldest sons of the Egyptians, I decided that the first-born sons in each Israelite family would be mine, as well as every first-born male from their flocks and herds. 18But now I have chosen these Levites as substitutes for the first-born sons, 19and I have given them as gifts to Aaron and his sons to serve at the sacred tent. I will hold them responsible for what happens to anyone who gets too close to the sacred tent.
The Levites Are Dedicated to the LORD
20Moses, Aaron, and the other Israelites made sure that the Levites did everything the LORD had commanded. 21The Levites sprinkled themselves with the water of forgiveness and washed their clothes. Then Aaron brought them to the altar and offered sacrifices to forgive their sins and make them acceptable to the LORD. 22After this, the Levites worked at the sacred tent as assistants to Aaron and his sons, just as the LORD had commanded.
23The LORD also told Moses, 24-25” Levites who are between the ages of twenty-five and fifty can work at my sacred tent. But once they turn fifty, they must retire. 26They may help the other Levites in their duties, but they must no longer be responsible for any work themselves. Remember this when you assign their duties.”
A Levite’s time of active service was to begin at age thirty and last until fifty according to Numbers 4:3, 4:23, and 4:30. Yet their formal training began at age twenty-five, with a five year apprenticeship.