Numbers 8:1-4 – Even Grown-Ups Need Night Lights

Posted: July 28, 2016 in Book of Numbers
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Numbers 8:1-4

Preparing the Lampstands

When most of us were little kids, we had night lights in our rooms. Why? Because we were afraid of the dark. There were hysterical fears of monsters in our rooms. When I was a little kids, I would not sleep facing the wall because the monsters that I feared the most would be on the wall. In my mind, if I looked at that wall, those monsters would no longer be the two-dimensional figures on that wall. They would come off that wall and become three-dimensional live monsters who would terrorize me or even kill me. Never laid in the bed facing the left toward the wall. Always sleeping facing the open part of the room to the right. It just so happened, too, that the night light in my and my brother’s room was to right of my bed. In those days, we shared a room (didn’t get my own room til I was 10 years old when we moved to Elgin, SC). At night though, I might as well have been alone. In the dark, we all feel alone and afraid, particularly as a child. But the night light in the electrical outlet right beside my bed gave me comfort. It illuminated a small area of the room. It helped allay my fears of the dark to the point of being able to go to sleep comfortably, but not enough for me to sleep facing that wall, the monster wall. It was not until I grew older that the need for a night light in my room was necessary. When you think about night lights in your bedroom now as an adult, you think, “how childish I was! Why did I think I needed a night light? What was I so afraid of?” Back then, though, those fears were real to us, palpable to us. We could work ourselves into a frenzy over the things that we could not see. We would create dangers where there was none. It was real to us, for sure. The night light was assurance. The night light was comfort that at least in the area that it illuminated that there was nothing to fear, nothing that would attack us.

 

As adult empty-nesters, my wife and I do not require night lights in our bedroom because we are adults, ya know. That would be childish to have a night light IN your room. However, we do leave the small stovetop light that is part of our overhead microwave oven/overhead vent apparatus over the stove. It lights up, softly, a small area of the kitchen. It is NOT a night light, right! We don’t need a night light. We justify it as not being a night light because we say we leave it on so that we will not trip, fall, run into things, and hurt ourselves if we have to get up in the middle of the night. There is a lot of truth to that I will say. A few weeks ago, as we had finished dinner and had settled down in front of the television set for some mindless entertainment for that couple of hours before bedtime, the power just all of sudden went out in our entire neighborhood. We occasionally will have a flicker of a power outage and the power will come right back on. However, on this night, the power went out and stayed out for four hours or so. It was pitch black in the house and our entire neighborhood. You couldn’t see anything in our house. As I was trying to make my way to our laundry/utility room where we stored our high powered flash lights. You know the ones with the big light that screw off to get to the big batteries with the spring loaded contacts on the top them and they have that membrane type on/off switch on the top of them. Yeah that kind. We have two of them in our cabinet in the utility room for just such an occurrence as a power outage. Being familiar with my house, I navigated from the living room past the bar/counter area that separates the kitchen from the rest of the open space that is our first floor. You have to turn to the left to go toward the laundry room in this mini-hallway that has our downstairs half-bath to the left, our coat closet to the left, the door to our master bedroom suite to the right and the door to the laundry room straight ahead. Well, I misjudged, in the pitch blackness of our house without illumination, how many steps I had taken before I made the turn. When I turned left, I took a few steps and caught my forehead on the edge of the beginning of that mini-hallway. Oh man, did that hurt! So, there is truth to the stove light being left on to keep us from hurting ourselves when we have to get up in the middle of the night! For real! I can attest to that truth.

 

In a sense, though, there is comfort in that light being left on at night. Though I am not scared of what’s under my bed or on my walls anymore, it is nice to know in the night if I wake up in the middle of the night and even if I do not get out of bed, I can raise up and see things lightly illuminated in the kitchen and that small hallway. The light not only keeps me from getting hurt if I get up but it also gives me comfort and security. That was the thing that struck me about the passage for today, Numbers 8:1-4, about how God instructed Aaron to fit the lampstands so that the light would shine forward. God is always providing us light in the Bible. Dangers and evil lie in the dark whereas God represents light that exposes the darkness and gives us comfort in His light. Let’s read the passage:

 

8 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.’”

 

3 Aaron did so; he set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand, just as the Lord commanded Moses. 4 This is how the lampstand was made: It was made of hammered gold—from its base to its blossoms. The lampstand was made exactly like the pattern the Lord had shown Moses.

 

The lampstands and their candles provided light for the priests so that they could perform their duties within the darkened tent that was the Tabernacle. The light was made to shine forward so that the light would be brightest forward and no light would be wasted on that which was behind the lampstands. The lamps provided guidance to the priests so that they would not run into things like I did that night in the total darkness of my house and neighborhood without power. We need light to see in the darkness. Psalm 119:105 tells us that God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. God is always associated with light because we know that light is good. We can see where we are and where we are going in the light which we cannot do in the darkness. In the midst of darkness we need light to see where we are and where we are going. Without light we are lost and blind. And that is why sin is considered darkness. In the darkness of sin we are lost and blind.

 

In the darkness of sin, we cannot see the ugliness of our sin. In the darkness we think our sins are beautiful. Just think about the sins we commit, we justify them as beautiful and right. We think that the Bible is wrong about our sins, the ones that we lie to ourselves about as being right and just. It is only through the light of the Holy Spirit that we can see and illuminate our sins for the ugliness that they are. The light of God illuminates where we are. It shows us the ugliness of our sin. It shows how “off path” we are when we have the light expose where we are. The darkness caused me not to see how “off path” I was on my arduous trek from my couch to the laundry room and I got a bump on the head for it. The light exposes our sins for what they really are through the light of the Holy Spirit. In the dark of our active sins, we think they are beautiful and right and OK.

 

The light of God also shows of the way we should go forward. It illumines our path forward. The light of God for us is His Word and the active work of the Holy Spirit in our souls. When we do not listen to God we fall into darkness. When we do not study His Word we do not have the light to the path forward. When do not pray, we do not have the light to the path forward. When we do not have Christ as our Savior and Lord, we do not have the light and cannot see the path forward. We mope around in the darkness and bump into things that hurt us. We need the light so that we can see the cliffs that we are headed for. We need the light to realize where we are and where we are headed. We need God’s light to show us where to go from here. Come into the light of the lampstand of God. He will show you where you are and where you are to go.

 

Amen and Amen.

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