Inspired by Proverbs 31 First 5 App study of Exodus
“Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to keep the lamps burning continually.” Exodus 27:20 (NLT)
When I read this scripture, I couldn’t help but think of the Apostle Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians 4
8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.
According to the teaching of Ray Vander Laan in his video studies “That the World May Know”, the olives are actually pressed twice. The first pressing, with the large rock, is to crack open the olives and create a pulp. Then the olives are placed in a basket where they are pressed again causing the oil to come out of the olives and go through the basket into the trough.
Our lives are like that olive. We need to be cracked in order to release the light of God into the world. If you were to see an olive press, it would seem the the olives would get crushed by the large stone. But they are only cracked open, made into a pulp. I’ve had times when I was cracked.
I’ve seen that huge rock coming my way that would seem to crush me and feel as though I was made into a pulp. But Paul says, we are not crushed, only pressed on every side. As we are crushed by troubles on every side our lives are cracked open and the light can shine through. Until we are cracked, we cannot shine His Light. But possibly, we also need to be made into a pulp, made unrecognizable, in order for God’s light to be seen. And then strained by the second pressing through the basket, to remove anything of ourselves. The second press makes the oil pure with nothing of us left.
Let’s look at that previous verse a little more …
2 Corinthians 4:7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
We are that fragile clay jar, containing the light of the world. The light peaks through our imperfections and our cracks. The oil is where the power comes from. The oil is from God … The Holy Spirit.
So how do we become filled with this oil [or light]? Let’s look a little earlier in the scripture.
16 But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
In order for His Light to shine through us, we must first have accepted Christ as our savior, and then allow His Holy Spirit to fill us. And as we grow in Him we will shine brighter and brighter.
In order to grow, we must abide in him, studying His Word daily. Without that daily relationship with Him, our fruit cannot grow and be filled. If an olive is detached from the tree/vine it will dry up and be of no use. But when attached to the vine, then it produces much oil.
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. John 15:4
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
When your vessel is cracked, does light shine out?
How brightly does it shine?
Do you have enough oil to keep it burning continually?