Highlights In Today's Reading:
Altar of Burnt Offering; the Tabernacle courtyard; all priests' garments.
Verses for Today:
The Golden Altar, and the anointing oil, and the sweet incense, and the hanging for the Tabernacle door (Ex. 39:38).Directly in front of the entrance to the Holy of Holies was a Golden Altar called the Altar of Incense. The high priest offered incense on this altar, which was symbolic of intercessory prayer to God. Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense (Ps. 141:2). And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense (Luke 1:10). This Golden Altar of incense was used exclusively to burn incense morning and evening. The fragrance was not released until the fire brought it out. Then the sweet odor that ascended toward heaven day and night satisfied God.
And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations (Ex. 30:7-8). The Apostle Paul exhorted: Pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17). Notice the incense was burnt when the lamps were dressed or lighted. The psalmist recorded: Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet, and a Light unto my path (Ps. 119:105). We are warned: He that turneth away his ear from hearing the Law, even his prayer shall be abomination (Prov. 28:9).
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Rom. 8:26-27).
For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (I Tim. 2:5).
The Altar of Incense was the smallest piece of furniture in the Tabernacle, and, as such, may seem insignificant. But this Altar was symbolic of Christ praying for Christians. He receives the prayers and praise of even the most helpless Christian. The Holy Spirit transforms them into a sweet fragrance before God. The intercession of the Holy Spirit makes our prayers precious to God.
Thought for Today:
Thank God for the privilege and the power of prayer!
Through the Golden Altar and its incense — representing prayers going up to heaven (Ex. 39:38; also Rev. 5:8; 8:3-4). Christ prayed for us. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word (John 17:20).
39:2 ephod = high priest's outer garment, apron; 39:15 wreathen work = braided cords; 39:20 curious =intricately woven; 39:39 laver =large basin used for washing before entering the Tabernacle; foot =stand, base.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Government Officials: Gov. John Baldacci (ME) and Rep. Frank Wolf (VA) • Country: Trinidad and Tobago (1 million) two islands seven miles off the coast of Venezuela • Major languages: English and Hindi • Religious freedom • 34% Protestant; 29% Roman Catholic; 25% Hindu; 7% Muslim • Prayer Suggestion: Pray in secret before God, not seeking human praise (Matt. 6:6).
Optional Reading: Mark 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 23:6