Light is often used as a metaphor for wisdom or enlightenment. But let’s be honest, there’s light and then there’s light.
Consider how it affected the Israelites as they traveled through the desert.
Wherever they went, two sources of light were always available: natural (coming from the sun and moon) and artificial (derived from fires). These same two sources were available to the nations around them.
Natural light, unfortunately, had the disturbing habit of varying in brightness. The sun inevitably and regularly abandoned everyone to the darkness of night, forcing them to resort to artificial light as a substitute.
Inside the Israelite’s camp, however, God had provided illumination from a third and very different source. In the innermost rooms of the Tabernacle, He had them build a lampstand. Its seven flames were to be kept ablaze at all times. No matter what the sun or weather was doing outside the tent, the light in the Holy Place never dimmed.
Natural vs. Supernatural
Apply this to today. God loves all people, so in His mercy, He lets His sun rise on both the evil and the good (Matthew 5:45). All people, regardless of the relationship or lack of relationship with God, have access to natural wisdom the way they have access to sunlight.
Just as the sun rises and sets, natural wisdom, too, regularly falls short of our need. Life habitually goes dark and we long to see what’s going on, to know where we are, to figure out what to do. We reach to strike the match of earthly wisdom, but it’s a poor substitute for truth. It leads us to believe in the “fables” warned about in 2 Timothy 4:3–4 or to confuse darkness for light and evil for good (Isaiah 5:20–21).
Inside God’s Tabernacle, people tended the flames of the golden lampstand much as anyone who used lamps outside the tent might. The source of the lampstand’s light, however, was neither man-made nor natural.
A large bronze altar stood in the Tabernacle courtyard. When Aaron laid the first sacrifice out on it, no human hand set it ablaze. “Fire came out from before the Lord and consumed the burnt offering” (Leviticus 9:24). Coals from this fire were brought inside the Holy Place to light the incense. From the altar of incense, the coals were taken to light the lamp atop the center shaft of the lampstand. From there, the other six lamps were lit.
It was supernatural light filling the Holy Place—light that suffered no variation with time of day or force of storm. Those who served at God’s altar, who worshipped Him in the intimate recesses of the Holy Place, had light that never died, supernatural wisdom that never failed. That same wisdom is available to those who love and live with God today.
There’s no need limit yourself to the vagaries of earthly wisdom. God’s invitation to draw near and dwell permanently with Him is in your hand.
His tent flap is open. Come on in.
 Alfred Edersheim, The Temple: Its Ministry and Services (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers Marketing, LLC, 1994), p., p. 125.