Summary: This is 4th message in the Tabernacle series. Altar of incense- There is no alternative for prayer. Pray always,
I. The Altar of Incense: The Symbol of the Prayers and Communion of God’s People Ascending to God, 30:1-10
(Ex.30:1-10) God answers prayer. When we face severe problems, trouble, or crises, God answers prayer. When we face terrible trial or temptation, God answers prayer. When we face sickness, disease, or accident, God answers prayer. When we face pain, suffering, terminal illness, or death, God answers prayer. When we face the difficult times of life—if we pray, cry out to God from the depths of our heart—God hears and answers our prayers. When we need comfort, guidance, assurance, security, companionship, friendship—God hears and answers our prayers. He meets our need always. This is the significance and purpose of the Altar of Incense. The Altar was used to offer up the most pleasing and acceptable aroma that can be imagined. This symbolized the pleasure and acceptance of God, that He was pleased with the aroma and accepted the offering being made. What was the offering? Prayer, the prayers of His dear people. The Altar of Incense symbolized the prayers of God’s dear people ascending up to God. This is the subject of this important portion of Scripture: The Altar of Incense: The Symbol of the Prayers and Communion of God’s People Ascending to God, Exodus 30:1-10 1. The design and materials of the altar (v.1-6).
2. The purpose of the altar (v.7-8).
3. The holiness of the altar (v.9-10).
1. (Ex.30:1-6) Tabernacle of Moses— Altar of Incense— Prayer— Intercession: there was the design and the materials of the Altar of Incense. The incense on the altar was to burn continuously, symbolizing two significant things:
the unbroken intercession of Jesus Christ for us
the prayers and communion of God’s people ascending to God
Note again: God Himself is the One who designed this altar. The altar was to be made like every other piece of furniture in the Tabernacle, made according to God’s perfect plan and design. These are the details for its construction:
1.The Altar of Incense was to be made of acacia wood (Exodus 30:1).
1.Pray in the name of Jesus Christ
I have sometimes thought of this little piece of furniture standing before the veil as an electric plug such as we use to tap the electric power laid behind our walls. Behind the veil of the tabernacle was the Shekinah Glory of the presence of the Lord, and behind the veil of the sky are all the resources of the great triune God. By putting in the plug of prayer with the hand of faith, we are able to tap those resources and find that “prayer changes things.” Great things happen at the hour of prayer when incense is being offered.
We have already noted the quality of acacia wood and how it speaks of incorruptibility, the incorruption and perfection of Jesus Christ (see note—Exodus 25:5). Jesus Christ is the One who intercedes for us, who stands between God and us and makes us acceptable to God. The intercession of Christ is not corrupt in any way; His intercession is perfect. He makes us acceptable to God.
The Altar of Incense was to be square: 18 inches by 18 inches by 3 feet high (Exodus 30:2).