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The Gold Standard

Numbers 8:2 & 4
“Speak to Aaron and say to him, When you set up the lamps, the seven lamps shall give light in front of the lampstand.” … And this was the workmanship of the lampstand, hammered work of gold. … According to the pattern that the LORD had shown Moses, so he made the lampstand.

Scientific innovation in the Western world has historically been based on the notion that God orchestrated patterns into the universe, unifying principles as many thinkers called them, that hold all things together. Mathematical patterns like the Fibonacci sequence or natural patterns like the hydraulic cycle or ethical patterns like the golden rule are a few examples. Notably, four hundred years before Christ’s coming, Socrates changed the paradigm in philosophical inquiry from theoretical concepts to practicable principles, believing that God had inscribed in our souls a pattern of virtue, and that the genuine seeker of wisdom is devoted to living in accordance with it.

Imagine that, friend! Even ancients who had no recourse to Jewish writings, no Abrahamic blessings bestowed on their fathers, and especially no divine Incarnation to witness knew that virtue isn’t a free-for-all. Even through the dim light of their reason, ancient men understood that the modern, farcical notion that people design their own patterns and then work them out in the world is the antithesis to human flourishing. That the light of our conscience bids us beyond ourselves, to love others around us, and to sacrifice our own welfare for the benefit of those in our care.

But whereas many pre-Christian sages were straining for light, searching for strands under every rock and crevice of the universe as it were, we Christians today are bathing in it. Not only has Almighty God given us the two intrinsic lamps of reason and conscience, but He’s graced us with five more lamps to guide our way through life. The lamp of the Scriptures and the Lamp of our Lord’s example and the Lamp of the Holy Spirit’s indwelling and the Lamp of the local church and the lamp of virtue, all seven lamps blazing together in the lampstand of God’s impervious vision, showing us the unchanging pattern for truth and goodness.

We’re basking in the rays of God’s luminous revelations, friend. Let’s make it our resolution to walk in them!