The Torah reading this Shabbat is from Numbers 8:1-12:16. It is a long reading, the name is Behaalotecha. It starts with the setting up of the candelabra inside the tent of meeting, and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. From the prophets the reading is from Zechariah 2:10 – 4:7, and from the New Testament it is from 1 Corinthians 10:6-13.
I will concentrate on the candelabra of seven candles made of pure gold. The making of this candelabra is also very interesting to me. It was made from one piece of gold. It was hammered into shape. It has a central shaft and three semi-circular branches that branch out on both sides of the central shaft.
In other words, it was made in the shape of a tree with three branches on each side. The candles were lit all day long and all the night long. The fuel of this candelabra was olive oil. What is interesting about this candelabra is that in the apostle John’s book of Revelation the model after which the churches in Asia Minor are presented is just such a candelabra of seven candles.
When you read the report that the angel gives John and the reprimands that he issues against each church you would think that these churches are really bad, and they were, but the point of describing them as a candelabra of seven candles is that they are still connected and made from one piece of gold.
I think that this is the point of the picture of Revelation chapters 1-3. No matter how serious the problems are, and there were some very serious spiritual issues and moral issues, in most of these seven churches, yet, they are still a part of the light giving and life-giving organism of the Lord’s body.
There is a threat that the Lord will put their light out and they will be in darkness, but in each case of the seven churches there is still hope that they can make corrections and do right.
Israel is commanded twice, in Isaiah 42:6, and 49:6, to be the light of the world. The disciples of Yeshua were declared to be the light and the salt of the world. We need to remember that when Yeshua spoke these words He was speaking to Jews. However, the non-Jews in the body of the Messiah have the same commission as the Jews because they were grafted in through the blood of Yeshua to the commonwealth of Israel.
The English are still so proud of the British Commonwealth. The princes of the British royals visit their commonwealth countries and are received with honor and dignity and celebration.
I think that the commonwealth of Israel that the apostle Paul is speaking of in Ephesians 2:10-13, a commonwealth created by God from the time of Abraham, is something much more worth celebrating and honoring and rejoicing over than the British Commonwealth.
It is an issue of identity and identity with the chosen people of God is much more important. Please read the text of Numbers and of Zechariah and from 1 Corinthians. Reading the word of God is enriching and equipping, providing you with what can’t be received anywhere else, not even in churches.
This article originally appeared on Netivyah and is reposted with permission.