Lights in the World
2 Chronicles 4:7
And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.

There are many difficulties and disagreements about the spiritual significance of the temple furniture; but there is a general agreement as to the meaning of the "candlestick," or of these "ten candlesticks of gold" to which the text refers. As in the "Divine compartment" of the "most holy place" the Shechinah was the symbol of the Divine presence, and spoke of the Lord God of Israel as the one true Light of the world, so in the human department of the "holy place' these lights were the symbol of the Hebrew Church, regarded as the centre and source of light in the midst of surrounding darkness. And such it was. We may well regard ?

I. ISRAEL AS THE SOURCE OF LIGHT. Perhaps rather as the possessor than the source, for communication between neighbouring countries was very much more limited then than it is now; and it was in its later days that the Jew was such a traveller and such a propagandist. But from the time that God made himself and his will known to Moses, down to the birth of Christ, Divine truth was known in Israel as it was not known elsewhere, and "salvation was of the Jews," as our Lord declared. Comparing the theological and ethical ideas of the people of God with those of contemporary peoples, we see how really enlightened they were. And some of the most essential doctrines, on which all Divine wisdom, and all moral excellency, and all national prosperity, and all individual well-being must always rest, were carried by the worshippers of Jehovah to Egypt, to Persia, to Rome, to still more distant countries. The light that shone in the sanctuary went forth and illumined a large space.

II. THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH AS A SOURCE OF LIGHT. Said the great Teacher to his disciples, and through them to his Church for all time, "Ye are the light of the world." The Apostle Paul wrote to his converts at Ephesus, and through them to us, "Ye are light in the Lord." And it becomes us to do two things.

1. Manifest the great characteristic of light - purity. To "walk as children of light,... in all goodness and righteousness and truth" (Ephesians 5:8, 9); as the servants of him who himself "is light, in whom is no darkness at all;" to be "holy as he is holy."

2. Discharge the great function of light - to reveal. To "make manifest" (Ephesians 5:13) those great verities which renew and sustain and ennoble us in heart and life. We are so to let our light shine that men may see our good works, and glorify our Divine Father. It does not take any prolonged study, or any range of experience, or any remarkable talent, to cause men to know the redeeming truths which restore them to God; which give them spiritual rest and abiding joy, and a hope that will not make ashamed; which build them up in manly virtues and in Christian graces; which prepare for the heavenly kingdom. Even the humbler disciples, who claim no rank in the community, may render this valuable service.

(1) By living a trite, faithful, earnest life, day by day, in the love of Christ;

(2) by speaking familiar Christian truth to those who are willing to hear it, this good work can be wrought. - C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he made ten candlesticks of gold according to their form, and set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.

WEB: He made the ten lampstands of gold according to the ordinance concerning them; and he set them in the temple, five on the right hand, and five on the left.

The Molten Sea
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