ANOINTED TO SERVE
Lord God, to know you is life itself. Inform me now from your Word, transform, me now by your Spirit.
Read Exodus 30:22–38
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels[a] of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels[b] of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin[c] of olive oil. 25 Make these into a sacred anointing oil, a fragrant blend, the work of a perfumer. It will be the sacred anointing oil. 26 Then use it to anoint the tent of meeting, the ark of the covenant law, 27 the table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, 28 the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand. 29 You shall consecrate them so they will be most holy, and whatever touches them will be holy.
30 “Anoint Aaron and his sons and consecrate them so they may serve me as priests. 31 Say to the Israelites, ‘This is to be my sacred anointing oil for the generations to come. 32 Do not pour it on anyone else’s body and do not make any other oil using the same formula. It is sacred, and you are to consider it sacred. 33 Whoever makes perfume like it and puts it on anyone other than a priest must be cut off from their people.’”
34 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha and galbanum—and pure frankincense, all in equal amounts, 35 and make a fragrant blend of incense, the work of a perfumer. It is to be salted and pure and sacred. 36 Grind some of it to powder and place it in front of the ark of the covenant law in the tent of meeting, where I will meet with you. It shall be most holy to you. 37 Do not make any incense with this formula for yourselves; consider it holy to the Lord. 38 Whoever makes incense like it to enjoy its fragrance must be cut off from their people.”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Reflect‘Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening’ (1 Samuel 3:9).
In the passages we’ve read so far in Exodus, blood and water have featured heavily in terms of sanctification (being made holy before God). The shed blood speaks of atoning for the guilt of people’s sins, the water is linked to their cleansing or washing. Reflect: through his death, Jesus has both atoned for all your guilt, and washed you clean so that no stains of sin remain.
Today’s passage details the anointing oil that was to be used – a third element of sanctification that marks out people (v 30) and items (v 29) for the service of God. God is very specific about the ingredients to be used for the oil and the instructions for its use (vs 31,32). Incense creates a fragrance and atmosphere. God instructed Moses that this particular incense was only to be used in the Temple, not as a perfume in everyday life (v 38). Its composition was exact (vs 34– 36) and no random elements were to be introduced (v 37). Incense makes us think of the prayers of God’s people rising to him (see Revelation 5:8).
Through Jesus, God has anointed us (see 2 Corinthians 1:20–22). We are ready and fit for his service. Just as the incense was sweet-smelling and pleasing, our prayers are delightful to God when we approach him in Spirit and in truth, through Jesus.
God has called you, forgiven you and anointed you. How might you serve him in the everyday situations you’ll find yourself in today?
Patient Father, empower me to pray to you as is there is no such thing as to work for you. Lord, teach me to pray so my prayers are pleasing to you.