THE ALTAR OF INCENSE
Luke 1:11 “And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.”
Luke 1:13 “But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.”
The angel appeared to Zacharias standing on the right side of the altar of incense, that is something we must consider. Why did the angel appear around the altar of incense? Why not in his house?
The altar of incense was located inside the tabernacle and God instructed Moses that the priest must burn incense continually.
Exodus 30:7 “Aaron will burn fragrant incense on it every morning when he polishes the lamps,”
Exodus 30:8 “and again in the evening as he prepares the lamps for lighting, so that there will always be incense burning before GOD, generation after generation.” (MSG)
One fundamental function of the Old Testament priest is to burn incense. In the New Testament as well, we are equally priests and are expected to burn incense continually. The burning of incense in the New Testament connotes prayer!
Psalms 141:2 “Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”
Revelation 5:8 “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.”
Here is the gist; the angel met Zacharias where he was praying. We don’t know for how long he has been praying but one thing we know is that he has become an old man. He has been praying for quite some time and has not stopped praying despite the seeming delay.
Zacharias kept burning incense continually. My spiritual father once told me that, “if I will not quit the place of prayer, God will meet me there!”
No matter what comes against you, don’t stop praying!
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