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Summary: This sermon shows why we must approach worship according to God’s pattern.

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THE SWEET INCENSE OF WORSHIP

By : NG WAH LOK

Text : Exo 30:1-10, Exo 30:34-38, Exo 31:1-11

Introduction.

In the Tabernacle of Moses, incense was burnt before God. The incense in the Tabernacle represented the following :-

a) Prayer

b) Worship

Ps 141:2 Let my prayer be set before you as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.

Rev 5:8, 9a Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints, and they sang a song…..”

Prayer and worship go hand in hand. Prayer should be regarded as the deepest form of worship.

God gave 5 specific instructions on how the incense should be made in Exo 30:34-38

1. THE INCENSE FORMULA WAS GIVEN BY GOD Ex 30:34

V34 – Take sweet spices, stacte and onycha and galbanum, and pure frankicence with these sweet spices; there shall be equal amounts of each”

WORSHIP IS ABOUT WHAT GOD WANTS AND NOT WHAT MAN LIKES.

People often say, “We had a good worship service this morning”. They could mean the following:-

a) Good music….good songs…modern beats

b) Good items….good programs

c) Nice settings……..comfortable chairs and ambience, carpets etc.

The question we should ask is, “Was God pleased with what we did ?” or “Was the worship led and guided by the Holy Spirit ?”.

2. THE INCENSE WAS SALTED, PURE AND HOLY_Exo 30:35

WORSHIP WITHOUT HOLINESS IS UNACCEPTABLE TO GOD

Exo 30:37b It shall be to you holy for the Lord.

In the five verses between Exo 30: 34-38 , the word “Holy” is used three times. (35, 36, 37)

Besides the incense itself, the altar of incense had to be atoned by blood every year.

Exo 30:10 And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement…it is most holy to the Lord.

Lev 4:7 And the priest shall put some of the blood on the horns of the altar of sweet incense before the Lord.

Because of the sin of man, all worship must be brought to God through the redemptive cross of Jesus Christ before it is acceptable to God.

Altar of incense - made of wood (Exo 30:1) . Wood speaks of humanity and man’s imperfection.

3.THE INCENSE WAS BEATEN TO MAKE IT FINE Exo 30:36

TRUE WORSHIP COMES FROM A BROKEN SPIRIT AND A CONTRITE HEART.

Ps 51:16,17 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit. A broken and a contrite heart, these O God, You will not despise.

Mary with the alabester box Mark 14: 3-9

Mark 14:3b She broke the flask and poured it on his head.

a) Perfume was costly. It was worth approximately one year’s wages

b) Flask had to be broken before the perfume could be poured out.

c) Mary came to Jesus with a broken heart.

3 C’s COST…….CRITICISM………..COMMENDATION

You can expect some criticism from men when you sacrifice to God.

4. THE INCENSE WAS CRAFTED BY SKILLED MEN

Exo 31:1-11

WORSHIP LEADERS AND MUSICIANS MUST BE SKILLFUL IN THEIR ART

Exo 31:3 And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship, to design artistic works.

Bazaleel was chosen to construct the altar of incense and the incense itself because he was skillful in the art.

4 S’s Spirit Man……Sanctified……Submission .….Skill.

1 Chron 15:22 Chenaniah, leader of the Levites was instructor in charge of the music, because he was skillful.

God deserves the best music.

5. THE INCENSE WAS EXCLUSIVELY FOR GOD Exo 30: 37

WORSHIP MUST NOT DEGENERATE INTO AN ENTERTAINMENT OR A BUSINESS

Exo 30:37 But as for the incense which you shall make, you shall not make any for yourselves, according to its composition.

Exo 34:14 For you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

“The only thing missing in the worship service in that the chairman did not have a white glove”

Who was the Father of Music ? {Jubal.} Gen 4:21. Jubal was from the line of Cain.

Which angel was a gifted musician ? {Lucifer} Eze 28

Lucifer corrupted music and brought worship unto himself. He wanted to be like God.(Eze 28:2).

Music was also corrupted very early in human history in the line of Cain.

Example 1: Corruption of worship by Cain Gen 4:1 - 23

3 M’s MURDER……MARK……….MUSIC

v8 – Murder of Cain

v15 – Mark of Cain

v21 – Music of Cain

Cain’s worship was not acceptable to God. He later committed murder and which set him further from God.

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