In Exodus 30:1-5 God gave blueprints to Moses to make an altar to burn incense.He had also instructed Moses about the proper place to keep it. In Exodus 30:6 God said, “And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you.” As per this verse, the altar that was made to burn incense was before the mercy seat where God and Moses used to meet. God was not only specific about the place but also which wood to be used to make this altar. The altar of incense was made of acacia wood with a veneer of gold. Acacia is a beautiful hardwood that is indestructible by insects. It served as a place for the daily burning of incense, both morning and evening. The incense consisted of sweet spices. This was the precept of God, given in Old Testament for burning incense, which does not exist in New Testament. Though we are not practicing this precept, still we can offer the incense that can be a sweet aroma to our Lord. David prayed in Psalm 141:2 “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice”.
- Prayer is an incense
Yes, now also we can offer incense to God through our prayer. We can go before the ‘mercy seat’, ‘meeting place’ boldly through prayer. Hebrew 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
In Revelation 5:7-8; when Jesus took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Wow!! It is exciting to know that we are His saints & our prayers are kept in golden bowls as incense for that day when the Lion of Judah & the Root of David shall take the scroll from the right hand of God! This means our prayers are so precious & special in the sight of God. What an honor!
- Prayer is an offering.
As per Revelation 8:3-4: Another angel who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all God’s people, on the golden altar in front of the throne. The smoke of the incense together with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.
- Prayer has power.
Golden censer in the hand of an angel is a mixture of incense and the prayers of all God’s people. When this mixture was filled with fire from the altar, the angel hurled it on the earth and there came peals of thunder, rumblings, flashes of lightning and an earthquake – according to Revelation 8:5. This means, prayer has the power of great movement on the earth. Prayers can bring great changes at any part of the world.
So pray without ceasing & offer sweet incense to God!
Anjali Jose Benjamin
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