Prayer and The Altar of Incense

“Aaron shall burn fragrant incense on it. Every morning when he dresses the lamps he shall burn it, and when Aaron sets up the lamps at twilight, he shall burn it” Exodus 30:7-8

Life during the time of this writing was anything but clean and hygienic. Living in close proximity to their animals, the accompanying odors could not be escaped. On account of this unpleasant aroma, incense was burned in the king’s presence to mask the odors of the livestock and to pay tribute to his position. It is not a surprise that incense was also burned before the one, true creator, God in the tabernacle of Israel, which was His earthly throne room under the old covenant. Scripture often compares incense to the prayers of God’s people (Ps. 141:2; Rev. 5:8).

Fine spices were mixed together, then continually smoldered on the altar (Ex. 30:7–8, 34–38). The ascending smoke went up to God, much as our prayers go up to Him.  

In the midst of all of the “stuff” that we track into the presence of God, make sure to send up prayers as a sweet smelling aroma. As we think of ourselves as the temple of God, let us always be reminded to pray.