Holiday Incense

Dear CBC Family,

“Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So, he put in the incense and made atonement for the people.” — Numbers 16:47

Perhaps, during this holiday season, you are experiencing some concern, or even anxiety, with all the difficulties of our day. The high inflation, increases in food and energy costs, the perversion directed at our children, it’s obvious why some are struggling and highly stressed. How does God want us to deal with these uncertain and challenging times?

How do we as Christians respond to social, political, and spiritual issues, that if left unchecked, lead to rebellion and perversion infiltrating a culture? I think we see a biblical answer in the text above. As Aaron walked through the people with incense the consequence of rebellion against God was lifted. Likewise, we as disciples of Jesus can pray and lift holy hands and expect to see similar results. After all, “all these things were written beforehand that through the comfort and endurance of the scriptures we might have hope.”. When we begin to pray, we bring the righteous provision of God and change the course of events around us.

The account is in Numbers 16 where leaders acted in rebellion against God. With the assistance of Dathan and Abiram, Korah tried to take control of the Hebrew camp. He challenged Moses and Aaron by asking why they were in charge. This political coupe was an afront to God and considered rebellion. They thumbed their noses at God as if to say, “Our ways are better than God’s ways.”

Korah was Moses’ cousin but that did not prevent him from defying God’s leaders. With 250 representatives of the congregation, these men rebelled against the authority of Moses and Aaron. God was very upset and said to Moses, “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” (Num 16:44) Moses and Aaron immediately got on their knees and began to intercede for the people.

Trying to save the people, Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun.” (Numbers 16:46)

“Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So, he put in the incense and made atonement for the people.” (Numbers 16:47)

Aaron rushed into middle of the congregation and burned incense while people were dying all around him. In the Bible, incense is a symbol of prayer. In a demonstration of worship, Aaron swung the incense burner as he moved between the living and the dead. Everywhere Aaron went, the pandemic stopped.

Psalm 141:2 “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” In the same way Aaron’s intercession stopped the pandemic, your prayers have the power to stop the spiritual pandemic moving through our land.

How do we realize this principle of standing between the living and dead? The answer lies in 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 full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.” Verse 10 says, “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”

The scroll is the title deed to planet earth to establish the rule and power of the Almighty. There is no one worthy to open it except Jesus. Jesus has given us that authority to rule when He says we have been made a kingdom of priests. Kingdom and priests are representations of authority and worship.

What has been accomplished in the heavens is yet to be established on the earth. How do we bring that authority down to earth? It is not by protests, politics, or preaching on the street. We don’t reign by being experts on the issues in our culture. We reign through the ministry of the priest, moving among the people, between the living and dead – lifting prayers. Wherever that occurs, rebellion against the purposes of God is stopped. The contagious virus that causes death will be stopped. But it requires priests to go into that setting.

The key is not activism, though that may be something a few of us are called to. We are not to be passive when it comes to these issues in our culture and nation. God responds when our prayers, like incense, are lifted-up to Him. Rise up and minister “between the living and the dead” raising prayers and praise to the one who WILL change the world around us. Be encouraged! You can make the difference!

Join us this weekend as we continue in the book of Romans “the greatest letter ever written.” Remember that we will not have service on Christmas or New Year’s Day. We will have service at 5:00 PM December 24th and December 31st. Bring a friend who needs Jesus and watch Him respond to the prayers you have offered.

Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

Pastor Scott and the staff and elders of our great family!




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