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Bible Pathways 01/29/2003

January 29

Read Exodus 35 -- 37

In Today's Reading:

Freewill offerings for the tabernacle; construction of the tabernacle; the ark of the testimony; mercy seat; table of the Presence; lampstand; gold altar (of incense).

The gold altar was made . . . out of acacia wood. . . . and . . . (had) a gold molding . . . all around . . . also (Moses was instructed to make) the holy anointing oil and the pure fragrant incense (Exodus 35:15; 37:25-26,29). He was also directed to place the altar in front of the veil that is by the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat which is over the testimony, where I will meet with you. Aaron must burn fragrant incense on it; he must burn it every morning . . . as a regular incense offering before the LORD (Exodus 30:6-8).

The priests were permitted in the holy place, but only the high priest could enter the holy of holies, once a year on the Day of Atonement. In front of the veil was a gold altar. This altar was much smaller than the bronze altar, but was far more costly since it was covered with pure gold. The bronze altar, where burnt offerings were made, dealt with the judgment of sin and it was located near the entrance in the outer courtyard.

The gold altar was symbolic of Christ as our Intercessor (John 17:1-26; Heb. 7:25). Each morning, Aaron the high priest would refill the lamps with pure olive oil and burn incense upon the altar. He would take a coal of fire from the bronze altar and place it on the gold altar and then place the incense on it as a sweet fragrance that ascended toward heaven day and night. God alone was the source of fire on this altar.

Only Jesus Christ can make it possible for us to approach the heavenly Father in prayer. Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us (Romans 8:34). In Hebrews, we read: He is always able to save those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them (Hebrews 7:25). Christ our High Priest is interceding for us each time we pray. We are encouraged to in everything, through prayer . . . with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6-7).

Christ Revealed:

Through the lampstand (Exodus 35:14). Christ is the light of the world (John 1:6-9; 8:12; 9:5; compare Luke 1:78-79).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) and Rep. Lee Terry (NE) · Country: Mozambique (19 million) on the eastern coast of Africa · Major language: Portuguese · Religious freedom · 40% worship of false gods, ancestral spirits, and some witchcraft; 23% Roman Catholic; 14% Protestant; 13% Muslim · Prayer Suggestion: Remember that God delights in your joy (Psalms 43:4).

Optional Reading: Mark 1

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 5:6

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