And Aaron did so; he arranged the lamps to face toward the front of the lamp stand, as the Lord commanded Moses. (Numbers 8:3)
As was mentioned in the previous devotion, Messiah — the Light of the world — said that we, His people, are the light of the world and are to shine for all to see. Therefore, in recognition of what the Menorah represents, let us consider that we are the different branches of the lamp stand and, though we shine individually as it were, it is intended that we all shine together. Furthermore, it is understood that our heavenly High Priest “arranges” us to shine, meaning, not only is He the source of our light, He also directs where and how we are to shine for Him.
In that vein of thought we return to the notion, also mentioned in the previous devotion, that spiritual conquest cannot be achieved by our physical efforts unless guided and empowered by the Spirit of God. In short, spiritual conquest is not achieved by violence but by being a light. This is certainly how the ancient rabbis saw it. In relation to this mission – Israel’s call to be a light to the nations – rabbinical commentary connects this idea with words from Isaiah:
“A bruised reed He will not break, and smoking flax He will not quench; He will bring forth justice for truth” (Isaiah 42:3)
In other words, not by might or power but through the agency of being a light will the darkness be overcome. It should also be noted that this verse, though certainly applying to all of God’s people, ultimately speaks of the Messiah. In fact, Matthew quotes the above verse and relates it to the mission of Yeshua. As religious men sought how they might destroy Him, Matthew records that He did not retaliate in like manner but would simply move on to the village and the next group of people to teach. This is why Matthew connected His mission and how He carried it out to what was prophesied by Isaiah.
So the point is, He advanced the Kingdom by being a light in the darkness. If that is how He did it, then we must follow His example — be light and go to where the darkness is. In so doing, we don’t use threats and aggression but a message of peace and good news. That is how it must be because that is how He has arranged it.
Blessings and Shalom,