PARASHAT EMOR (SAY)
VAYIKRA (LEVITICUS) 21:1–24:3
Oil was the primary “fuel” for lamps in biblical times. The oil for lamps is mentioned many times throughout the Word of God, and for good reason; it’s not a mistake that the Scriptures emphasize the importance of oil. In fact, there’s a deep spiritual connection to oil, especially olive oil. In our weekly Scripture reading, we read:
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Command the sons of Israel that they bring to you clear oil from beaten olives for the light, to make a lamp burn continually. Outside the veil of testimony in the tent of meeting, Aaron shall keep it in order from evening to morning before the Lord continually; it shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations. He shall keep the lamps in order on the pure gold lampstand before the Lord continually.”
In a previous blog on this topic, I wrote, “As our verse from Exodus tells us, olive oil was to be used to light this lamp. The Hebrew translation of ‘lamp continually’ is “נֵר תָּמִיד” (Ner Tamid). I found a very interesting commentary on this phrase that suggests in the days of the Tabernacle, the ‘eternal lamp’ was the middle candle of the menorah that was always lit until twilight, the time between sundown and when the stars become visible. All the other lamps were extinguished at dawn once the sun began to rise, and relit from the ‘Ner Tamid’ once twilight fell. The ‘Ner Tamid’ was rekindled at twilight, as far as we understand.”
The importance of the Ner Tamid is profound in that it provided the light to light the other candles. We know that Yeshua is the Light of God, and He brings light into our lives. We followers of Yeshua, in turn, have the responsibility to shine His light before all men. Just as the children of Israel were tasked with bringing the oil for the continual lamp in Leviticus 24:1–4, so are we tasked with a similar responsibility.
The difference, however, is that we do not rely on our own “oil” to shine His light. That would be disastrous! We followers of Messiah must rely on the “oil” of the Holy Spirit to shine Yeshua’s light to the world. But, there’s an element of humility that is required if we are to shine His light. Just as Messiah crushed His will and submitted to the will of the Father, thus receiving the eternal anointing once and for all, so are we commanded to deny ourselves daily, “crush” our will, and submit to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Yes, His light is eternal, but we can’t expect His light to shine in and through us if we are stubborn and refuse to follow His call for our lives.
In order for us to allow Him to shine His light through us on a continual basis, we need to allow the “oil” of the Holy Spirit to fill us every single day. Remember, if God calls you, He will also equip you. You do not need to do it in your own strength. He’s always there to fill you and renew you. Isn’t that great news?
This article originally appeared on Hope for Israel and is reposted with permission.