May 26, Sunday

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“A Fragrant and Pleasing Aroma”

Exodus 30:22-38

Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 “Take the following fine spices: 500 shekel of liquid myrrh, half as much (that is, 250 shekels) of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant calamus, 24 500 shekels of cassia—all according to the sanctuary shekel—and a hin 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.”

Six years ago, while taking my last film class of my college career, I had the privilege of attending a guest lecture by an Oscar winning producer.  When she walked on stage, to our surprise, she had brought a special friend to stand next to her the entire lecture. He was only 13.5 inches tall and weighed 8.5 pounds, but he caught the biggest attention and response from the crowd.  The moment we saw her friend, everyone stood a little taller, our eyes grew wider, we became more attentive, and you could sense that everyone wanted to show their very best version. If you haven’t figured out who her friends was, it was the famous Oscar statuette.

Today we read the meticulous details of what it took to make the precious anointing oil that would be poured onto Aaron and his sons for their priestly work.  It was, in fact, such a delicate work that verse 25 describes it as “the work of a perfumer.” Along with these instructions comes a clear command that the misuse of this oil would lead to their excommunication from the people (v.32-33).  This passage may seem like a contradiction to yesterday’s devotional where we talked about the heart being the most important thing. However, the tabernacle was created for the unique purpose of offering worship to God. Worship is the place where we are called to give our very best to God, and the distinct role of giving God our best worship still applies to us today.  We are called to exude worship that is holy and pleasing to God, like a pleasing and fragrant aroma.

I am confident that almost every aspiring filmmaker in that lecture hall wanted to give their very best when they saw the prized Oscar statuette.  Timothy Keller once said in his message about worship, “If you’re not worshipping God, you’re worshipping something else.” God created every person to worship Him and the truth is, if God is not receiving the fullness of your worship, something else is.  Can I ask you, where is your affection and worship pointed to? Is your desire to give God your very best or are you worshipping worldly idols? Let’s bring these things to the Lord that we may be able to give God true and proper worship. This is the heart that God has placed in us, to give our best to the things we love.  

Prayer: God may my worship today be a fragrant and pleasing offering to you.  Forgive me for the things that have taken your place and help me to lay down my idols to give you true and proper worship.  In Jesus name. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: 1 Samuel 16

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