Tear Off the Veil and Burn Up the Basket

Time spent in God’s presence changes people. His light, His holiness, His deity is so intense, so utterly beyond any comprehension that HE fundamentally alters whoever or whatever is near Him. Moses famously spent so much time near the glory of God that even his body began to exhibit visible changes. What is so interesting is that Moses had no idea that was the case!

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God.” (Exodus 34.29 ESV emp. mine)

Exodus 34 goes on to describe how Moses wore a veil to keep from frightening the people further with his otherworldly radiance. However, what was necessary then is something we must avoid practicing now.

Paul used this same idea of being transformed by proximity to God’s glory to contrast Christians with those who were still clinging to the “ministry of death” (2 Cor. 3.7, about Judaism): “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3.18)

Christians are changed, light-filled people! We are members of the Bride of Christ, citizens of the New Jerusalem.
Do we realize just how bright and powerful and intense the light within us shines?

And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there.” (Rev. 21.23-25)

The light of the Lamb burns brightly within His church, His kingdom, His bride, and yet how many of us do not think of ourselves as beacons of light, as mirrors reflecting the glory and majesty of the Eternal God. Do not doubt yourself, Christian, the light within you was put there by God to be seen. Peter described Christians as being called out of darkness “into his marvelous light” (1 Pet. 2.9), and as Christians we reflect not our own light, but the incredible, intense, glorious Light of God.  

Jesus described this quality of God-followers simply and best in Matthew 5.14-16:

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Our task then, brethren, is to tear off the veils, burn the baskets, and turn those “little light(s) of mine” into the floodlights of divine glory as they were created to be.

Our light will be welcomed and received by those who are seeking the Light. The Light inspires others to glorify God (Matt. 5.16) and calls the willing to Christ: “I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (John 12.46). As we sing from time to time: “Let the lower lights be burning; send a gleam across the wave! Some poor fainting, struggling seaman, you may rescue you may save!”

Our light will be resented, repelled, and rejected by those who love the darkness: “For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works be exposed.” (John 3.20). There are those who have been blinded by the “god of this world…to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ” (2 Cor. 4.4). Brothers and sisters do not hide your lights because of the darkness: your light overcomes the darkness, because He who is within you has overcome the darkness!

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1.5)

If our light has burned low, do as Moses did & go back to the mountain to spend more time near God’s presence. Remember: Moses’ face shown after speaking and listening to God. In the same way we must devote serious time to listening to God through His word and speaking with God via prayer. In this way we are like glow-in-the-dark toys: the longer and closer you hold them to the light, the longer and brighter they shine in the darkness.

But above all, brethren, as we sing from time to time:

O Christians, do not hide your light! “For ye are the light of the world