Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning…

Dear friends,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been some time since I have written. I don’t want to write unless it is something that God has laid on my heart to write. I know if that is the case it will minister to someone, and oftentimes me, as I began to meditate on what I feel the Lord is saying. I hope these words will be an encouragement to you today. It is truly a season when it is increasingly important to hear the Father.May the Lord fine tune our hearing as we seek His face.

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. Exodus 30:7,8

The “it” in this verse is the altar of incense which was positioned before the veil of Tabernacle that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies where the ark of the Testimony was kept. The Ark represented the presence and glory of God. Every morning Aaron would tend the lamps to make sure that they kept burning. Lamps or light are types of revelation. We see in the days of Eli that the lamp of God was about to go out when the Lord spoke to Samuel as a boy. (1 Samuel 7) In the first verse of that chapter it says that the word of the Lord was rare in those days and that there was no widespread revelation. When Aaron was tending the lamps he was also to burn incense on the incense altar in the morning and the evening. The incense was to burn perpetually before the Lord.

So what is the relevance of this for us today. First, we must consider what incense is a type of. I believe I can safely say that incense represents prayer. Look at Revelation 5:8. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Just as the smoke and fragrance of the incense burning wafted over the veil to where the ark was, so are the prayers of believers today. They come up before His throne as a sweet smelling aroma before God. Let’s look at a couple of other points and see how they relate to us today.

The incense was to be burned every morning and every evening. Some would say it is legalistic to say we need to pray every morning and every night. I am not saying you have to do that, but what better way is there to start the day than praying to the Lord and what better way to end the day than prayer. One Christian leader said,” I have so much to do today, I need to pray twice as long.” The fact is, the incense was burning perpetually so it is much more akin to the word of Paul in Thessalonians 5:17. Pray without ceasing.

If Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing and spoke what He heard the Father speaking then He must have been continually in tune to the Father. I believe it was Smith Wigglesworth who said, “I never pray more that 20 minutes, but I never go more than 20 minutes without praying.

There are a number of scriptures that do mention day and night, or morning and evening prayer and I want to look at a few of those, but I don’t think it’s about praying specific times as much as it is making prayer a continuous action.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:6,7 I believe the role of a watchman is being an intercessor.

Other scriptures: Nehemiah 1:6; Psalms 55:17; Psalms 88:1: Luke 2:37: 1 Thessalonians 3:10: 2 Timothy 1:3.

There is one more passage I want to look at and that is Jesus’ words in Luke 18. I felt as I was writing this that there are some people who have become discouraged and have withdrawn from battle. If ever there was a time for us to push through in prayer, I believe it is now. I believe that we are beginning to see the kingdom advancing and there are walls which have separated God’s people and kept them from reaching the help they need. The battering ram is prayer and the walls are being struck repeatedly. There is not much damage evident, but the molecules of these walls are vibrating with each repeated blow and they will come down if we do not stop. We don’t want to be like King Joash who struck the ground only three times (2 Kings 13) when he could have kept striking the ground and insured complete victory.

Then He spake a parable to them, that men ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1. The parable was about the unjust judge and the widow. If an unjust judge will grant this widow vengeance; what about our Father who loves us so much. Jesus said, “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?” Luke 18:7

Do not be discouraged, God hears the prayers of His saints; don’t give up!

May the Lord bless and encourage you this day.

In His service,

Herb Dean