The Tabernacle completed. Worship of God must be in accordance with His Word. The Ark, Mercy Seat, Table of Showbread, Candlestick (Lampstand), Altar of Incense, and Tent each are an illustration of true worship of Jesus Christ.
And he made the incense altar of shittim wood: the length of it was a cubit, and the breadth of it a cubit; it was foursquare; and two cubits was the height of it; the horns thereof were of the same (Ex. 37:25).
Directly in front of the entrance to the Holy of Holies was the golden Altar of Incense. It was about 3 feet high, 1½ feet wide, and 1½ feet deep (30:2). The Altar of Incense was made with Acacia wood. It was much smaller than the Brazen Altar, but was covered with gold inside and out (30:3).
This golden Altar of Incense was used exclusively to burn incense morning and evening. Note the procedure: the sacrifice was offered, followed by the washing at the laver, the priest proceeded into the Holy Place and in the light of the seven-branched candlestick the bread was eaten. Only the priest was permitted to offer incense on behalf of the people. Each morning he would take a coal of fire from the Brazen Altar and place it on the Altar of Incense and then place the incense on it. Not until then were prayers acceptable to God. God was the source of this fire.
Just as it was then, the fire on the altar had to come from Heaven, so today Christ alone makes it possible to approach the Heavenly Father in prayer. For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (I Tim. 2:5). It is Christ that died . . . that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us (Rom. 8:34). This is also made clear in the book of Hebrews where we read: He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them (Heb. 7:25). Day and night, Christ, our High Priest, is interceding in prayer for Christians. Although our prayers are faulty, our praise feeble, and our worship far below the level of what it ought to be, the golden altar of incense illustrates that all true believers are a royal priesthood (I Pet. 2:5,9) unto God and have equal privilege to offer their prayers unto God.
The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit knows the desires of our hearts and alone is qualified to make intercession for us (Rom. 8:26). So, when we pray in the name of Jesus, every believer's prayer to our Heavenly Father is expected, welcomed, and pleasing to Him.
And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne (Rev. 8:3).
Thought for Today:
Only believers who have received Christ as Savior and Lord of their lives can experience a true relationship with God.
Through the Candlestick (Ex. 35:14). Christ is The Light of the World (John 1:6-9; 8:12; 9:5; comp. Luke 1:78-79).
35:10 wise hearted, skillful, expert craftsman; 35:11 his, its; 35:32 curious, artistic, skillful.
Pray for Government Officials: Rep. Paul D. Ryan (WI) and Rep. Lee Terry (NE) • Country: Papua New Guinea (5 million) in the southwestern Pacific • Major languages: 715 indigenous languages • Religious freedom • 64% Protestant; 33% Roman Catholic; 2% ancestor worship, belief in spirits, and witchcraft • Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for sending the
Holy Spirit (John 16:7-8).
Optional Reading: Mark 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 100:5