Oil and Incense

The Holy Anointing Oil and the Holy Incense

Same principle, two different mixtures. After giving the pattern for the tabernacle and all its accouterments, and giving the pattern for the priestly clothes, God gives Moses the recipe for two holy compositions. One is an ointment, the other is a perfume.  Exodus 30:22-28.

The holy anointing oil was to be composed of myrrh, cinnamon, calamus, cassia, and olive oil. It was to have a holy purpose. It would be used to anoint (consecrate) the tabernacle, all of its vessels, Aaron, and Aaron’s sons; but could not be used for any other purpose. It states that it will not be poured upon any man’s flesh. Obviously, since it was already commanded that it would be poured upon the high priest and other priests, we understand that it was not to be poured upon any man’s flesh for secular purposes. Further, no one could manufacture this composition for themselves. The recipe itself was holy unto the LORD. If anyone made any for themselves or put any upon a foreigner, they must be put to death.

The holy incense was to be composed of frankincense, stacte, onycha, and galbanum. It was to have a holy purpose. It was already stated that no strange incense could be offered on the altar of incense. So we understand that this was to be the offering that would be burned on the altar of incense in the holy place, but it could have no other function. It was not to be used for the purpose of anyone else smelling it for their pleasure. Further, no one could manufacture this composition for themselves. The recipe itself was holy unto the LORD. If anyone made any for themselves, for the purpose of a personal perfume, they must be put to death.

This brings out a principle which is laid out for us many times in scripture. The things that God has ordained for holy service cannot be used for secular purposes, personal pleasure, or for those who do not understand the things of God. God named these things as holy. He set them apart for specific purposes that He outlined in His Word. The minute someone takes one of these holy items and uses it for their personal pleasure, they are guilty of the death penalty.

The correlation is that God has ordained us for His service. The minute we take anything that God has set apart for His service and use them for our personal pleasure, we are guilty of the death penalty. The things that are meant to bring God pleasure can only bring us pleasure when used as commanded by God. God is the one to be honored by our spiritual service, not ourselves.

How about some practical application? What are your spiritual gifts? Are they being used for God? Or are your gifts just giving you pleasure? Do you "perform" when utilizing your gifts? When you serve, do you feel as if others should thank you for your service? If you are not complimented for your service do you feel like it was a waste? How about prayer? Are your prayers selfish? (Ouch!) Do you use your spiritual knowledge to show others how much you know? When someone else is ministering, are you critical of them, or thankful for them?

Lest anyone think I’ve left off writing on prophecy, let me set forth a little something to think about. Since myrrh is the leading ingredient of the anointing oil, and frankincense is the main ingredient of the incense, what does that say about the gifts of the wise men? They brought gold, myrrh, and frankincense to the child Jesus. Were these gifts of some symbolic, perhaps prophetic significance? Did the myrrh point to the anointing? It seems like most commentaries want to point to the death of Christ when describing the significance of the myrrh, saying it was used for embalming; but is there something else here? Did the frankincense point to an offering of sweet incense? These wise men actually worshiped the child. Was the frankincense to be considered an offering to the Deity as embodied in this child?

Am I asking too many questions?

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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