Exodus 30:37 An Incense For God

“Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the LORD.” Exodus 30:37

God had Moses make a very specific type of incense. This incense was to be used before God at the altar. There were to be very specific types of ingredients in it and it was to be considered holy. No one was to make that incense for themselves.

In the Old Testament incense was burned before the altar to give God a pleasant smell. It was to cover the bad odor of sin in the lives of the people.

When Jesus came, the door to the altar was opened so that any person, at any time can go before God directly. There was no more prescription on how to make an incense to burn before God.

Even though no perfume is to be burnt before God today, there is a perfume that arises before God. It is the prayers of every believer. The prayers of believers is described as a sweet aroma that God smells. It brings Him great honor and glory when His people pray to Him.

Think about how great it is when someone you love takes the time to talk with you. It feels great. If they never talk with you, you may wonder if they really love you or not.

The same thing goes for God. He wants His people to talk with Him. When you spend time in prayer, which is just talking to God, it makes Him feel great. It is a wonderful smell to Him.

Too often, people spend their time making perfume for themselves or for others. They spend their time pleasing other people or trying to look good in themselves. This is the incense made for themselves that God does not want made.

Who are you making incense for?

Is it for yourself or others? Or is it for God?

Take time to talk with God. It will send up an incense that will fill Him with joy and pleasure.

I pray today that you will spend time talking with God throughout your day; that you will not focus your time on others or just yourself, but on God; that your life will be a pleasing aroma to God; and that you will bring the sweet aroma of Jesus to this lost and dying world.

Exodus 29:20 Being Fully Consecrated

“Slaughter it, take some of its blood and put it on the lobes of the right ears of Aaron and his sons, on the thumbs of their right hands, and on the big toes of their right feet. Then splash blood against the sides of the altar.” Exodus 29:20

One of the requirements that God had made was for Aaron and his sons to be made consecrated holy to Him. They were going to be the high priests in the tabernacle for all of the Israelites. In the process of being made holy was having blood put on their right ear, right thumb, and big toe on their right foot.

Blood was the way God had chosen to cleanse a person and make him holy. Once a person had sinned there had to be a sacrifice for that sin. Until Jesus came, the sacrifice was animals. God used the blood to consecrate Aaron and his sons.

The first place that was consecrated was the ear. This is where the person has to hear from God. When you are not following Jesus, your ear is tuned into the world and its ways. It has to be cleansed of sin so that you can hear clearly what God is saying.

Next, the thumb of their right hand was made holy. Until you follow Jesus, your hand finds things to do that are of this world. They are sinful, selfish things. Once cleansed, your hands can find things to do for God. God wants you to be servant to others.

The last spot cleansed was the big toe of the right foot. This allows a person to go where God wants them to go. The Israelites were to follow God through the desert into the promised land. Today Jesus wants you to go out and be His witness and make disciples of everyone.

Today, you do not have to offer sacrifices of animals in order to be consecrated or made holy. Jesus has done that for you. His blood was shed to make you holy.

Have you allowed the blood of Jesus to make your ears, hands and feet holy to Him?

Are you listening to what God is saying?

Are you doing what God wants?

Are you going where God wants you to go?

I pray today that you will allow the blood of Jesus to cleanse you of all sinful ways; that you will live your life for Jesus; that you will hear the words of God; that you will do what God wants; and that you will go where God wants you to go.

Exodus 28:11-12 Remembering Others

“Engrave the names of the sons of Israel on the two stones the way a gem cutter engraves a seal. Then mount the stones in filigree settings and fasten them on the shoulder pieces of the ephod as memorial stones for the sons of Israel. Aaron is to bear the names on his shoulders as a memorial before the LORD.” Exodus 28:11-12

One of the pieces that Aaron was to wear was the ephod. This was two pieces of stone that had the names of all of the sons of Israel (formerly Jacob). These sons were now the various tribes of the nation of Israel. The names of each of the sons were to be engraved on the stones. Then this ephod was worn on his shoulder as a memorial before God.

Wearing this ephod had to have been somewhat heavy. It was made of stone and had to be large enough to engrave twelve names on it with gems in each name.

Aaron was to bear the weight of the people as he went before God. He would be told all of their sins and faults and have to present them before God. It was a heavy burden for him to have to bear.

This was what had to occur until Jesus came. When Jesus died and rose again, He was the one who now bears the names of the people before God. He is the one who takes responsibility for the actions of the people. He pays the price for all wrong doing.

Although you cannot pay the price for someone else, you can hold them up before God. You can keep on your shoulders the needs of others. When you go to God in prayer you will then remember all of the needs of others around you. At that time you can present them to God on behalf of others.

Often people put their own needs first and forget about others. Aaron was not allowed to do that. Today you are called a priest after Jesus. You are now a part of the holy priesthood of Jesus.

Are you willing to put on the ephod for others?

Are you willing to bear their names before God, to bring their needs before God?

Or are you only looking out for yourself?

I pray today that you will seek God’s help for others; that you will bear their needs to God in prayer; that you will not be only self-seeking in your prayers to God; and that God will meet the needs of many lives through you.

Exodus 27:20 Keep The Light Burning

“Command the Israelites to bring you clear oil of pressed olives for the light so that the lamps may be kept burning.” Exodus 27:20

One of the articles in the tabernacle was the lampstand. This lampstand had three branches for lights on each side of the main stand in the center. The light in it was from burning a wick that was in oil. The Israelites were to provide the oil for it in order to keep it burning day and night continually.

Throughout the Bible oil is seen has a physical representation of the Holy Spirit of God being put on a person. Priests, kings, and prophets were all anointed with oil. This was showing that they had God’s presence on them for the position they were taking. Having the Holy Spirit in the life of the person gives him the needed power and guidance to do the work God has called him to do.

Jesus told the disciples that they were the light of the world. Now, centuries later, you are also that light of the world, if you believe in Jesus. Jesus said that you are to keep that light shining and not hide it anywhere.

In order to keep the light of God shining in your life, you must be continually filled with His Holy Spirit…the oil of God. God’s Holy Spirit can give you the life you need to be the witness you need to be. He will give you the strength and power to do God’s work. He will give you the directions you need to finish the work. He will not allow the light to burn out.

Let God fill you with His Holy Spirit today. Do not allow the oil to run out and then allow the light to die out. Keep the light of Jesus shining brightly in your life today and everyday. Let the whole world see that you are a follower of Jesus. Let them know that you have what it takes to have life abundantly and for eternity. Let them know that they can have that life also.

Are you allowing God’s Holy Spirit to fill your life?

Are you allowing the light of Jesus to shine in your life continually?

Or have you let the light burn out?

I pray today that you will allow God to fill you with His Holy Spirit; that you will allow God’s light to shine in your life; that you will not allow the light of Jesus to grow dim in your life; and that you will be a light for all of the world to see to draw them to Jesus.

Exodus 25:8-9 God’s Design

“Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them. Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you.” Exodus 25:8-9

After the Israelites had received some commands from God as to how to live their lives, He now gives instructions on building a sanctuary for Him to dwell in. Starting in the next verse and going through several chapters, God gives extreme detail as to how to build the sanctuary. The people are to build it to the exact pattern that God is going to give them.

When people read the Bible cover to cover, many will try to read through this section very quickly. It is just like reading a how-to manual on something that you may not really be interested in knowing. Yet, this section contains a great wealth of information for the believer. It reveals who God is and His plan of salvation for the people.

The Israelites were to build it exactly like God laid out the plans. This was because God wanted to be honored in staying in that place. It was not be just some little thrown together lean-to shelter. It was to be a place for a king–God Himself.

Today God does not have people build a physical sanctuary. He now has that sanctuary built-in the hearts and lives of people themselves. God now dwells in the hearts of people.

When you give your life over to Jesus and have accepted His death and resurrection for you, God starts to build a new sanctuary in you. You are now a new creation, a new sanctuary for Him.

God still has some extreme details as to how this new sanctuary is to be built. It is to be built with love, mercy, forgiveness, helping, serving, prayer, worship, truth, and many other characteristics of Jesus. Throughout the New Testament are many guidelines on how to live your life. These are the details of how this new sanctuary is built.

Are you following God’s pattern for your life?

Are you becoming the sanctuary that God can dwell in with great honor and pride?

Or are you just throwing together some simple, cheap lean-to that has no honor in it?

I pray today that you will see God’s design for your life; that you will allow God to build you into the sanctuary He wants you to be; that you will be a sanctuary that brings God honor and glory; and that you will live your life in a way that God will want to dwell in you.

To learn more about the tabernacle and some of the possible meanings behind the articles and the design in it, please see my post on a book a review about it: A Dwelling Place For God

Exodus 23:2 Don’t Follow In Doing Wrong

“Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd.” Exodus 23:2

Moses continues with giving some practical rules on how to live a holy life for God. Now he looks at when a person is in court a person is not to just side with everyone else, but to only judge as to what is the truth in the case.

People do not like to go against the system or a group of people. They like to go with the flow. Very few people like to cause a ripple in the way things are going.

In court cases this can be seen a lot. The majority of the jury feels the judgment should be one way, while one or two people feel it should be the other way. Often the few give in to the majority and judge accordingly, not necessarily the way they see the truth of the situation.

Moses is specifically talking about court cases in this verse. However, it can be applied in many other areas in life. Everywhere a person looks you can see people compromising to a group of people to do or allow sin.

A new movie comes out. It has foul language using God’s name as a curse word in it. It has explicit sexual scenes in it, outside of marriage. The story line is one about sinful actions. Everyone is talking highly of it as though it is a great movie and you must see it. Most people would go see it. They don’t want to stand out as different or be left behind the times.

Do you go and watch it, even though it is wrong and sinful, and against God? Or do you stand strong as a believer in God’s Word and refuse to partake in the sin?

This is just one example of how people follow the crowd. Yet, as a believer, you are to stand out as different. You are to stand as a holy follower of Jesus.

How are you living your life?

Do you follow the crowds?

Or are you following Jesus?

What would Jesus do?

As Moses said, do not follow the crowds in doing wrong.

I pray today that God will reveal to you what is right and wrong; that God will show you when the crowd is going the wrong direction; that God will give you strength to follow Him; and that you will live a life that represents Jesus to this world.

Exodus 22:28 Do Not Curse The Leader

“Do not blaspheme God or curse the ruler of your people.” Exodus 22:28

God continues to give Moses some practical rules on how to live life. In this verse it points out not to blaspheme God or curse the ruler.

Very few believers would have a problem with stating that one should never blaspheme God. This is talking bad about God in any way. Yet, many are guilty of it.

How many times have you heard, or been guilty of, saying that God must not love you because He did not do something for you? Or that God must not care about the sin going on because He is allowing it to happen?

People complain about what God does not do. They cut God down, treating Him like a man, rather than the God who is in absolute control that He is. This does not even touch into the using God’s name as a curse word.

Along with not blaspheming God, He also states to not curse the ruler of the people.

Cursing the ruler is a common thing, both in the church and outside the church. Everywhere you go there are people who hate the leader of the country. With the current time of elections for a new president, there is a lot of condemnation of the leader.

This not only applies to the leader of the country, but can be the boss at the workplace. He is also a ruler of people, just not as many. In the workplace break room, there are always people talking about how bad the head boss is with various situations. Everyone thinks that they could do better.

As a believer you are to build up, not tear down. Blasphemy and cursing do not build anyone up in any way. Think about the old movie “Bambi”. In it, Thumper, the young rabbit, once said, “my Mama always told me if you do not have anything nice to say, don’t say anything”. This is good advice for every believer.

What are you saying with your words?

Are they building others up? Or are they tearing someone down?

Remember that you are a person just like that other person you may be cursing. You most likely have done something similar or just as bad, sometimes, even worse.

Show the love of Jesus in your words to and about everyone.

I pray today that God will fill you with His love for others; that your words will show the love of Jesus; that you will not cut down others in any way; and that you will always build others up in the Lord Jesus.