02(Exodus 30) The Golden Altar
The Golden Altar (ex 30).doc Bob Wiegel
We view the OT as useless. Think the NT has replaced the law.
Matt 5:17-18 "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.
We can learn how to worship spiritually when we learn how God set up worship physically.
Exodus 30 is a great worship chapter in the OT. As we see the setup of the Tabernacle, we see how God is to be approached, worshipped, and prayed to.
The golden lampstand and table of showbread were there. This typified God’s people meeting and fellowshipping together. Not where you meet together and gossip, but where you feast on the person of Jesus Christ. It is a banquet.
The altar of incense, the golden altar, is a place of prayer.
Placed in front of the veil. A place of worship. Prayer is above all, worship.
Not an altar of Sacrifice.(Ex 30:7-8)
This was to worship and pray. It was to burn incense.
Rev 8:3 Then another angel, having a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. And he was given much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Psalm 141:2 Let my prayer be set before You as incense, the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.
That is what this altar was for. To meet God, to offer prayer to him. To listen for him.
The brazen altar was for sacrifice. Some think that after they have been saved, that is all the worship they need to do. But the altar of sacrifice makes you able to worship, to move forward into the holy place.
Where the silence is broken.
The importance of this altar cannot be ignored. Dr. Luke tells us that after 400 years of silence by God, it was at this altar that God broke His silence and spoke to Zecharias. (Luke 1:9 ff).
It is here that the priests would come and offer prayers for the people. Morning and evening were the times.
In Hebrews 9, appears the altar has been moved. Why? Because when Hebrews written, the veil and been torn in two.
There is a golden altar today, and it sits in heaven. Hebrews 9-10 and Rev reveal that to us.
Only the priest could worship at this altar.
Separated from the other pieces of furniture. King Uzziah smitten with leprosy when he tried to burn incense here. (2 Chron 26:16-21).
Only a priest can pray to God today. And the NT tells us that every true believer is a priest.
Lot of rubbish that you can live any life you want, and when momma gets real sick and goes to hospital, any reprobate can get on his knees and pray and God will answer (hollywood). God will not answer such prayers. The altar of incense is where priests go.
A public altar.
With the showbread and lampstand, this altar was positioned among the others to be a focal point of regular worship. God has not changed his mind. He did not decide that the tabernacle was a bad model, that staying home and worshipping the TV would be better, that keeping your problems to yourself would be better.
The problem with the christian today is that he no longer smells of incense!
No priest today is exempt from this need to come before God. It is no coincidence that in Hebrews 10, where the writer is telling of the greater tabernacle in heaven, and the need to draw near to God, that he includes that exhortation to not forsake assembling together. Why? Because we are the manifestation of that model of worship.
We minister in the holy place. Not because the furniture is holy. But because we are holy!
When we gather together, we create a holy place, because Christ is there! Cant get that in your recliner or on the swivel seat of your favorite bass boat. This is what this altar is for.
It is here that you bring your burdens and offer them as incense to the Lord. It is here that you remove the secrets that hide your life and reveal them to any who will hear, it is here that apply the fire of the brazen altar to the prayers you lift to God.
Not a strange fire!
Nadab and Abihu (Lev 10:1-2). They offered a fire that was not from the brazen altar of sacrifice.
Some of you claim to go to God in prayer, but not on the basis of sacrifice. When you come to this altar, you sacrifice something. Sacrifice pride, first of all. Become vulnerable to God and the others.
Some of you claim to go to God in prayer, but never have gone to the first altar. Never been saved by the sacrifice of the lamb of God. You come to this place without the blood applied to you from the first altar!