THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
You shall make an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood. A cubit shall be its length and a cubit its width—it shall be square—and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay its top, its sides all around, and its horns with pure gold; and you shall make for it a molding of gold all around. Two gold rings you shall make for it, under the molding on both its sides. You shall place them on its two sides, and they will be holders for the poles with which to bear it. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you. “Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. You shall not offer strange incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering; nor shall you pour a drink offering on it. And Aaron shall make atonement upon its horns once a year with the blood of the sin offering of atonement; once a year he shall make atonement upon it throughout your generations. It is most holy to the Lord.”(Exodus 30:1-10)
Altar is the meeting place with God where the offerings are made. The dimensions and the type of wood to use was described for them, and also to overlay it with gold all around. What represents our altar today? If I may answer the question, I would think it is OUR HEART. Our heart is the seat of everything we do in life. Out of our heart proceeds thoughts that affect our total life. Our heart was messed up from the sins committed by Adam and Eve, and since then, the Bible says “our hearts are desperately wicked, who can now it?” The scripture says ” A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45). Therefore our hearts must be kept with all diligence for out of it are the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23). God that reads our heart advises the children of Israel to prepare the altar with a special type of wood. That is to say “do not allow your heart to dwell on things that are not noble or right,” Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” We must make conscious efforts to hide the words of God in our heart. We should also think on positive things that can positively affect our lives. Our heart need to be operated on so that the wickedness that have troubled our lives for so long could be removed by the surgical operation of the word of God. Hebrew 4:12 says “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Thus if we want our heart to be like the heart of God, we must do everything to keep it pure (overlay it with gold).
The Bible says when you want to offer gift to God, and you discover that you have something against your neighbor, you should first of all go to neighbor to make amends, and then come back to the alter to offer the gift. This means that not all gifts that we offer are acceptable to God. If our hearts are not right whatever we offer is in vain. God sees our hearts and can read us because our heart is naked before Him. While we are concerned with physical appearance, He is concerned with our hearts, which was why He sought for David, a man after God’s heart, to replace king Saul who was disobedient to Him. God desires a loving heart like His, a heart that will forgive all wrongs, a heart that will be compassionate towards people, a heart that speaks life into people, and heart that will live to please God. I pray today that our heart will be made right and pure for God to dwell in because our God is a Holy God. As we make our hearts to be accessible to God, the secret of God will be revealed to us, because we are His temple where He desires to dwell. May the Lord continue to be with us in Jesus Name, Amen.