Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When God Needs You To Do Something, He'll Equip You

The Altar of Incense and Anointing Oil
Exodus 37:25-29:
This is an account of the construction of the Altar of Incense exactly as described by God earlier in Exodus 30:1-10, as well as account of the making of the anointing oil and incense in accordance with God’s command and description in Exodus 30:22-38.
Thoughts on the Passage
First thing that comes to mind here is the Moses was indeed human! I say that because I note that up to this point the descriptions of the work in these later chapters of Exodus have been pretty well as long as the initial descriptions of the various aspects of the Tabernacle for which God gave specific instructions in the earlier chapters of Exodus. And then we come to this passage – where, with respect to the Altar of Incense, ten verses in Exodus 30 have been reduced to 4 here in Exodus 37, and with respect to the anointing oil and incense, 17 verses seem to have been reduced to just one. Was Moses getting tired of being repetitive or was his memory failing and thus he couldn’t remember the details?  I don’t know. You’ll have to ask him when you meet him. However, I would side with his being human and getting tired of repetition.  Remember in real-time, he probably had to give these instructions over and over again to the skilled Bezalel and his crew.
Matthew Henry reminds us that the golden altar was used for the burning of incense daily. He believed it signified both the prayers of saints and the intercession of Christ – events both to have come many years later.
Henry indicates that the beauty of the rings and staves being overlaid with gold remind us that God is indeed “the best, and we must serve Him with the best we have”. This is a question God’s true children, His true followers, ask themselves often – “Am I giving of my very best to God?”
Not only was Bezalel the skilled precious metal worker that he was, but God needed him to learn other skills as well to complete the Tabernacle in accordance with God’s instructions. He had to learn how to make anointing oil and incense. That required the skills of an apothecary, someone who could mix the right ingredients to make the necessary formulas as God had intended. And he did it so aptly. So much so, that Henry writes, “though he was not before acquainted with it yet he made up these things according to the work of the apothecary, as dexterously and exactly as if he had been bred p to the trade.”
And he leaves us with this further thought based on that: “Where God gives wisdom and grace, it will make the man of God perfect, thoroughly furnished to every good work.”
So, let’s ask ourselves – have we sought that wisdom and grace from God?  If we have done so earnestly with no strings attached, and if we have been granted – are we putting to good use that wisdom and grace to accomplish good works?

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