Exodus 27:21 (HCSB)
21 In the tent of meeting outside the veil that is in front of the testimony, Aaron and his sons are to tend the lamp from evening until morning before the Lord. This is to be a permanent statute for the Israelites throughout their generations.
Again I am combining a number of pericopes: the altar, the courtyard, and the oil for the lampstand. These passages seem to be practical instructions on the construction of these items that are necessary for the worship of, and sacrifice to, God. I will highlight a couple things that stand out.
- It seems noteworthy that the construction materials become less precious as things move out, away from the Most Holy Place. No longer is gold the metal of choice, but silver and bronze. Perhaps there are practical reasons for this, durability for example, but the contrast still remains. In addition, the cloth for the outer courtyard walls is of plain linen, with the exception of the entrance on the east side.
- The entrance is on the east side, just as the gate to the Garden of Eden was. Surely this is not a coincidence, but a reminder of the presence of God. The tabernacle, like the Garden was, is a place where God dwells.
- The lampstand is to be continually fueled through the night, meaning it is to continually give off light. Might this be symbolic of the One whose presence is behind the veil, in the Most Holy Place? His presence which is pure light, which continually lights the way? It seems as though this might be the case, a reminder of the constant goodness of God, even in the darkest times.
Lord, thank You for being a constant light for us in a dark world. I pray that we would seek out the entrance to Your courtyard, accept Christ’s sacrifice, and enter into the Holy Place to be with You. Amen.