About Oil for Light

The personal blog of T.C. Howitt

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine (2 Timothy 4:2).

T.C. Howitt writes about the gospel of Jesus Christ, using the Bible to illuminate our benighted culture of secular humanism, atheism, scientism and technological idolatry.

A former software architect, he now endeavors to answer the question, How can Christians live faithfully according to God’s will in this technological society? He’s currently working on a book titled, The Tower and the Tabernacle: A Biblical Examination of Technique.

What does “Oil for Light” mean?

In Exodus 39, the children of Israel bring to Moses all the materials needed to build the tabernacle. The Bible describes these items as an offering to God (Exo 25:1-9).

Included in the supply list were “the lamps to be set in order, and all the vessels thereof, and the oil for light” (Exo 39:37b). The golden lamp stand was the only source of light inside the holy place of the tabernacle.

In biblical symbology, Jesus Christ is that true light who enlightens everyone who comes into the world (Jhn 1:9).

So what does the oil represent?

God said to Moses, “Thou shalt command the children of Israel, that they bring thee pure oil olive beaten for the light, to cause the lamp to burn always” (Exo 27:20).

Believers are pressed like olives to produce the oil of the Holy Spirit, which is to say they are commanded to preach the teachings of Jesus Christ that they’re given by grace. Jesus said to His disciples,

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you (Mat 28:19-20).