Highlights In Today's Reading:
Again we are confronted with the precise instructions of God regarding even the garments the priests should wear — a mastery of ornate design, a magnificent piece of work — nothing was left to personal preference. It reminds us of how important it is for us to carefully read and follow the instructions of God for our lives. Only one book — the Bible — can qualify as our infallible guide to prepare us to be how He expects us to live and accomplish.
The fire on the Brazen Altar, known as the Altar of Burnt Offering, was never permitted to go out (Leviticus 6:13). This altar was symbolic of the fact that every sinner may come to Christ anytime — day or night. He ever liveth to make intercession (for us) (Hebrews 7:25). The only way for sinful man to stand before the Holy God was through the atoning sacrifice. Without shedding of blood [there] is no remission of sin (9:22). And he (Bezaleel) made the Altar of Burnt Offering of shittim wood: five cubits was the length thereof, and five cubits the breadth thereof; it was foursquare; and three cubits the height thereof (Exodus 38:1).
On the Day of Atonement a bullock for His sin offering and a ram as a burnt offering had to be sacrificed by the priest before he could proceed further toward the Tabernacle on behalf of the congregation. The priest had to recognize the holiness of God, as well as his own sinfulness, and be cleansed from his guilt and sin before he could perform the sacrifice and intercede on behalf of the people.
The precious gold so lavishly used elsewhere was not used for this altar. The Brazen Altar was overlaid with brass, and its vessels were of brass — a symbol of God's judgment of sin. The materials of this altar remind us that sin debases our nature and makes everything we touch unclean. But Christ offered Himself as a whole burnt offering on the cross for our sins. Our wonderful Lord was both our mediating High Priest and the sacrificial Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). It is through Jesus' sacrifice alone that we receive redemption and reconciliation with God. Christ said: I am The Way . . . no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me (14:6).
The Altar of Incense was the smallest piece of furniture in the Tabernacle and, as such, may seem insignificant. But this altar was made of gold and was symbolic of Christ praying for Christians. He both prays for and receives the prayers and praise of even the most helpless Christian and transforms them into a sweet fragrance before God the Father. His intercession makes our prayers precious to God. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus (I Timothy 2:5).
Thought for Today:
Christ . . . who is even at the right hand of God . . . also maketh intercession for us (Romans 8:34). Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Hebrews 4:16).
Through the Golden Altar and its incense — representing prayers going up to heaven (Exodus 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 =b> high priest's outer garment, apron; 39:15 wreathen work =b> braided cords; 39:20 curious =intricately woven; 39:39 laver =large basin used for washing before entering the Tabernacle; foot =stand, base.
Pray for The Arabic, English, and Spanish International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. & Mrs. Dale Samford • Staff: Mary Kay Wagner • Government Officials: Gov. John Baldacci (ME), Vice President Dick Cheney, and Rep. Frank Wolf (VA) • Country: Bolivia (8 million) in South America • Major languages: Spanish and Quechua • Religious freedom • 92% Roman Catholic; 3% Protestant; 3% Baha'i • Prayer Suggestion: Wait upon the Lord and He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31).
Optional Reading: Mark 2
Memory Verse for the Week: Philippians 3:10