The Altar Inside
Sermon 75 in Series
 “You shall make an altar on which to burn incense; you shall make it of acacia wood.  A cubit shall be its length, and a cubit its breadth. It shall be square, and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it.  You shall overlay it with pure gold, its top and around its sides and its horns. And you shall make a molding of gold around it.  And you shall make two golden rings for it. Under its molding on two opposite sides of it you shall make them, and they shall be holders for poles with which to carry it.  You shall make the poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold.  And you shall put it in front of the veil that is above the ark of the testimony, in front of the mercy seat that is above the testimony, where I will meet with you.  And 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, a regular incense offering before the LORD throughout your generations.  You shall not offer unauthorized incense on it, or a burnt offering, or a grain offering, and you shall not pour a drink offering on it.  Aaron shall make atonement on its horns once a year. With the blood of the sin offering of atonement he shall make atonement for it once in the year throughout your generations. It is most holy to the LORD.”
1. In what ways does the tabernacle function as a theme that runs through the whole Bible? How does understanding this theme strengthen the Christian life?
2. What features of this altar stand out to you? How does it differ from the other altar?
3. Where do we see graded holiness in this passage? Why is this such a repeated characteristic of the tabernacle?
4. What would the poles have communicated to the Israelites? How do they remind us of God’s guidance and our future hope?
5. How does this passage clarify the daily activity at the tabernacle? What is the connection between the incense and the sacrifices?
6. Where do we see an emphasis on right worship? Why was it important that no foreign or common incense be offered on the altar?
7. How does the altar of incense point to our acceptance before God through Christ? How does it encourage us in prayer?
References:Exodus 40:34-38; John 1:14; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Revelation 21:1-3; Hebrews 9:3-4; Exodus 29:38-39; 30:34-38; Leviticus 10:1-2; Ephesians 5:2; Leviticus 16:12-13; Psalm 141:2; Revelation 5:8.