Lent 2022 Day 18
Tue 22 Mar
Exodus 30:22-33 The anointing oil
22 Then the Lord said to Moses, 23 ‘Take the following fine spices: 500 shekels 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.”’
Are you as lost as I am with shekels and hins? Well, 500 shekels is thought to be about 3.5 kilos (over 7 pounds). Call a hin a gallon (c.5 litres) and you’re home. Except that it would help if we could value these. We know that cinnamon grows on trees, but liquid myrrh (which also grows on trees, but takes more effort to garner) is very costly. You can grab a five litre bottle today for around £2000.
God is laying down his instructions for the building of the Tent of Meeting (also known as the Tabernacle), a transportable structure (you would need a few lorries to move it around) that was to go up wherever the Israelites stopped in the wilderness.
The instructions for the materials and the consumables are precise. They are holy in that they are reserved for God alone. God demands the purest, the highest and the best for the place where he will touch earth, and clothing and rituals he has ordered for the person who will be allowed to come into his proximity. Remember that the mountain on which Moses received the Law was sacred to God, and anyone or any animal that stepped onto it was instantly doomed. Such is God’s holiness – it’s not something you play around it. Nor are the holy preparations to be copied and used for other purposes, that’s anathema.
We have in this passage an example of the care that God demands from those who minister in the Tent of Meeting. God is precise in the way he orders the tent to be built. Settle down and read chapter 26 onwards in Exodus to see how carefully God prescribes what is to be done.
Are churches and meeting halls holy?
Should we enter into our meetings with the same fear as Aaron did?
Should men remove their hats, and ladies wear theirs?
Is your church a tabernacle or a temple?
If you are a Temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20) then does your life reflect the purest, the highest and the best for God?
Father God, you are holy indeed, the source of all holiness. In Jesus alone I may serve you without fear, and approach your throne, and stand before your righteousness, clothed in his priestly garments and anointed with the fragrance of his anointing. Thank you, Father; thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.
Tabernacle Tours, Inc