We’ve come to the part of the Bible where most people either skim through or skip over entirely. It’s filled with details on building the Mishkan (Tabernacle), its furnishings and utensils, and its surrounding wall and everything that belonged inside the wall.
We say we get the gist of it and move along. I’m here to tell you every detail mentioned is worth learning about. Those details give you insight into how God’s throne looks in heaven, how God thinks and feels about what He is doing, what He requires of you when He gives you a task, and what our response should be.
Those details also show us spiritual connections that apply to us.
In the last Torah portion God asked the people to willingly bring the items needed to complete the Mishkan. This portion starts out with God commanding the people. Why the difference?
The scripture tells us to draw near to God and He will draw near to us. When the people willingly gave to God, it told God they were willing to draw close to Him. They wanted Him to live among them. They wanted His Presence to stay with them, to be their God and King. They wanted to be a part of His Kingdom.
A king desires to build his house the way he wants it to be built and to establish rules he feels are best for his kingdom. God is no different.
By agreeing to God’s covenant, the people made God their God and King. As fitting for a king, God wanted things done to His liking. He commanded the people to do certain things in a certain way. One of those things involved the oil for the menorah that sits in the Holy Place.
The Menorah or Lampstand and Its Oil
The menorah was a special lamp, unlike everyday lamps. It had seven branches with seven lamps attached to it. It stood over five feet tall. It weighed almost 100 pounds. Its highly decorative form was created out of a single piece of gold.
Daily, its lamps had to stay lit from evening until morning. Like today, all oils weren’t created equal. To accomplish this goal, it needed the best oil available.
This oil happened to be pure olive oil where the olives were beaten, not crushed or ground in a mortar and pestle, or by rolling the olives over rocks to crack their surfaces.
In its simplest form, the method of beating the olives required immersing them in boiling water and squeezing them by hand. Then the oil was skimmed off the top of the water. This produced the purest oil available.
The menorah stood in the Holy Place, the room before the Holy of Holies. You could only see the light if you were in the Holy Place. The only people allowed in the Holy Place were the High Priest and the priests.
Common people weren’t allowed in there. In 1 Peter 2:9, we are declared a royal priesthood. Anyone who believes in Yeshua becomes a part of the royal priesthood. This priesthood has access to God in the Holy Place, a place where unbelievers can’t access.
The menorah wasn’t to be used for profane or common purposes. You couldn’t take it out of this place to show people. This divine light belonged to God, which He willingly allowed the priests to experience. If we want to be a part of the light we must belong to God.
When the priest’s rotation duty was done he went back home to his family. It’s during this time that God’s light should shine through the priest. Everyone who knew him should have felt God’s love for them.
Like the priests when you have a chance to experience the light of God it’s your job to bring that light to others by helping them out of darkness.
What’s amazing is that the menorah represents God, Yeshua, and the Holy Spirit. The seven branches represent the seven spirits of God, which are the seven manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Olive oil also presents the Holy Spirit.
The center lamp represents Yeshua. This lamp was lit first. Then you lit the rest of the candles from right to left. This represents our connection to God through Yeshua.
The lamps could not go out during the darkest part of the night. It needed pure olive oil for the light to last all night. Just like when Yeshua left earth. He didn’t take the light away. He sent the Holy Spirit to continue to light the lamps in people.
Our Trials is God Getting the Best from Us
Whenever we go through tests and trials we feel like we’re in hot water or being squeezed tightly, like life is beating us down. But is it? Or is it God trying to get the best out of us?
God loves us so much He is willing to put us through the process that will bring out the best in us. This way we can light up everything around us, pointing people to God.
Don’t despise the tests. I know it hurts a lot. It’s okay to cry. Just don’t give up. In the end you’ll come out better than you were before.
Side note: try to get the lesson the first time. Otherwise, it’s rinse and repeat until you do.
Is your oil decreasing, causing your light to grow dim? Does it need to be put through the process again? If so, ask God to help you.