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Sermon: Golden Altar, Picture of Prayer
The Altar of Incense
the Sermon Summary
The Sermon Outline
PICTURE OF PRAYER
Exo. 30:1-10“And thou shalt make an altar to burn incense upon: [of] shittim wood shalt thou make it. 2 A cubit [shall be] the length thereof, and a cubit the breadth thereof; foursquare shall it be: and two cubits [shall be] the height thereof: the horns thereof [shall be] of the same. 3 And thou shalt overlay it with pure gold, the top thereof, and the sides thereof round about, and the horns thereof; and thou shalt make unto it a crown of gold round about. 4 And two golden rings shalt thou make to it under the crown of it, by the two corners thereof, upon the two sides of it shalt thou make [it]; and they shall be for places for the staves to bear it withal. 5 And thou shalt make the staves [of] shittim wood, and overlay them with gold. 6 And thou shalt put it before the veil that [is] by the ark of the testimony, before the mercy seat that [is] over the testimony, where I will meet with thee. 7 And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. 8 And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations. 9 Ye shall offer no strange incense thereon, nor burnt sacrifice, nor meat offering; neither shall ye pour drink offering thereon. 10 And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it once in a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations: it [is] most holy unto the LORD.”Ps. 141:1-2l Luke 1:10
I. Its Parts (shittim wood, gold) show a picture of Prayer
A. The Wood used in the altar gave the physical altar strength. But it spiritually pictures: Strength for Perpetuity (perpetuation, perseverance, permanence) vs. 8-9; I Thes. 5:17 “Pray without ceasing.”
B. The purity of the Gold pictures the Sincerity of Purpose that we need in Prayer James 4:1“From whence [come] wars and fightings among you? [come they] not hence, [even] of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume [it] upon your lusts.”
C. Separation Purity (the pure gold also pictures separation from the unclean, unholy, and undesirable things of life) Gold speaks of divinity
II. Its Placement (before the ark of the covenant) shows Prayer as well
A. Before the holy of holies. It was placed in the Holy Place of the Temple. It was immediately preceding the Holy of Holies. This shows the lofty beauty of prayer. In our prayers we reach into the Throne room of God, into the most holy and powerful place in all reality.
B. Before the throne of grace Heb. 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. This throne room is not only the Holiest place, but through Jesus, it is the place for us to find the strength and grace to help in out time of need.
III. Its Power
A. Symbolic Authority
1. Gold (shows divine power because gold is often linked with God)
2. Horns (physical strength) The Horns of the altar were a picture of the horns that adorn many of Gods cattle creations. Their greatest strength is in their horns. So, the power of Prayer is pictured in the horns of the altar.
3. Crown (shows government authority)
B. Sprinkling for Atonement vs. 10 You cannot come to God in prayer without the sprinkling of blood. So, many people wonder why their prayers have not been answered by God. But they have not yet trusted in the blood of THE Sacrifice for our sin, Jesus Messiah. We must come through the blood. But through the blood, we have access to God in prayer.
C. Speaking for Another (intercession)
1. Of the Son God the Son intercedes for us and speaks to the Father. Heb. 4:14 “Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast [our] profession. 15 For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
2. Of the Spirit The Spirit of God intercedes for us. Rom. 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
3. Of the Saints We the saints need to intercede for each other. James 5:14 “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: 15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
March 2, 2006; November 29, 2009sn