Are you lit?

There is a whole lot of attention these days placed on whether you are “seen” or “heard.” The media, celebrities, even some preachers often talk about being seen and heard. An article on puts it this way: “If your tribe didn’t see you, there was a risk you’d be left behind when the nomadic life of early humans dictated they move, and being alone equated to death. If other tribes didn’t see and respect you and your tribe, they were likely to invade your territory, take your resources, and leave you and your family to die. In the ancient part of our brains, not being seen is equivalent to being sentenced to death.” A little drastic, right? Seems to be “seen,” you might need to be “lit.” But not the way you may think.

In Exodus 27:20-30:10, Moses is instructed to have the people bring the pure olive oil to light the lamps of the Menorah. The priests were to kindle the lamps each evening in the Holy Place. Then the LORD tells Moses to ordain Aaron and his sons as the priests, and describes the garments they were to wear in service in the Tabernacle. Each priest was to wear four garments: linen breeches, tunics, sashes, and a turban. The High Priest wore a blue robe that was decorated with pomegranates, and golden bells. Over this was the ephod, an apron woven of gold, blue, purple and crimson thread, and attached was the gemstones for each tribe.  On the front of the High Priest’s turban was a golden plate, engraved with the words, “Holy to the LORD.”

Next, the priests were ordained  in a seven day ceremony, in which they washed and dressed in their holy garments, were anointed with oil and blood, and offerings of sacrifices followed. The priests were to present the burnt offerings twice a day on the copper altar, and there is a description of the Golden Altar of incense, also offered twice a day when the Menorah lamps were relit. On Yom Kippur, the blood of atonement was to be placed on the corners of the ark once a year by the High Priest. So what does this have to do with us? 1 Peter 2:9 says, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Just as the first responsibility of the priests of Israel was to light the ner tamid (daily lamp), the Menorah, symbolizing the Devine Presence, we are to let our light shine before men (Matthew 5:16). That’s how we draw others to the Lord. The Hebrew word for priest, kohen, may come from the Hebrew word ken, meaning “yes,” and the word kivun, meaning “to direct” or “lead,” implying that the priest helps direct or draw us to the light/ truth of God. Being a witness to that light doesn’t mean we are perfect, we all sin and need to confess and repent from our condition to him to abide in that light, “But if we are walking in the light, as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of his Son Jesus purifies us from all sin (1 John 1:7).” It’s good to be seen with the light of Christ from within. So I gotta ask, “Are you lit?”

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Bill Wilson