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The Lamp of Israel Shall Never Go Out

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Our country is in mourning and it seems as though a light that burned so brightly for so long has finally gone out. When a great monarch reigns, others fear towards the end of their lives that their light will be quenched; but the lamp of Israel shall never be quenched. Near the close of King David’s life his men swore to him, feared for his life and insisted that he no longer accompany them to battle, “You shall go out no more with us to battle, lest you quench the lamp of Israel” (2 Samuel 21:17). David was certain that the lamp would not go out, because of who the Lord is and because of the Davidic Covenant.

What assurance did David have that we can be equally certain of? Firstly, He took regular and thorough personal encouragement from the Scriptures, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Psalm 119:105) and this psalm may well have been written by him. Towards the end of his life when he praised the Lord for His deliverance he testified, “For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness” (2 Samuel 22:29).

In the days of the Tabernacle, care was taken concerning the menorah, to ensure that the lamp burned continuously and pure oil of pressed olives was used (Exodus 27:20). Oil is a type of the Holy Spirit reminding us of the importance of the Lord’s presence with the believer continually and forever. When David repented after he had gone into Bathsheba, he prayed to God, “Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from Me” (Psalm 51:11).

David sought to build a temple to glorify God though Solomon would undertake that vital work. Nevertheless, the Lord made a covenant with David. “And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16). David prophesied of Messiah’s reign of the King and Priest who would reign forever (Psalm 110).

David foretold the suffering of Messiah’s crucifixion yet the blessing of Messiah to all nations (Psalm 22; cf. Matthew 27: 35, 39-44, 46). David spoke of the certainty of his resurrection because of the resurrection of Messiah (Psalm 16:8-11; Acts 2:25-28) and even His ascension (Psalm 68:18; Acts 1:9).

The Scriptures foretold a messenger who would prepare the way for Messiah (Isaiah 40:3-4; Malachi 3:1). That messenger was John who would bear witness of the Light, that all through Him might believe (John 1:6). This great light would also be a light in Galilee to the Gentiles (Isaiah 9:1-2; 42:6) and of the increase of His government and peace there would be no end upon the throne of David (Isaiah 9:6-7).

Yeshua (Jesus) made an astonishing claim at the Feast of Tabernacles as there were enormous menorah in the temple courts which would have lit up the surrounding mountainous area of Jerusalem impressively. “Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, “I am the light of the world, He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life” (John 8:12). He gave a blind man sight and stated emphatically, “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). The lamp of Israel will never go out because Yeshua the Messiah, the light of the world has come.

Jesus proved that He was the light of the world through His fulfilment of the Scriptures, His sinless life and authority to forgive sins, His authoritative and unique teaching, His miraculous ministry, His atonement for sin through His sacrifice and His resurrection and ascension. Will you come to the light, repent of your sins and trust in Him? Will you receive Him or reject Him? What did Messiah say about coming to the light?

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God” (John 3:18-21).

Someone who has turned to the Lord, asked Him for forgiveness for their sins and believes that Jesus is the Messiah, actively trusts and follows Him as a disciple. In the same way that the moon is lit but does not emit light by itself yet reflects the light of the sun, the believer lives their life for God’s glory as a light in a dark place. How can they demonstrate to others what they believe and what does their testimony look like?

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16).