Exodus 30 Outline
– Plan for the altar of incense (Exodus 30:1-10)
– Atonement money for the Israelites involved in the census (Exodus 30:11-16)
– Plan for the basin for washing (Exodus 30:17-21)
– Recipe for the sacred anointing oil (Exodus 30:22-33)
– Recipe for the incense (Exodus 30:34-38)
Exodus 30 Summary
Exodus 30:1-10 is the plan for the altar of incense. The altar of incense is to be made from acacia wood. The altar of incense is to be square and measured by 1 cubits in width and length and 2 cubits in height. The top, sides, and horns are to be overlay with pure gold. This altar is placed behind the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy Place, next to the veil. Every morning and twilight, Aaron must burn incense on the altar. Every year, Aaron must make atonement for the altar by applying the blood of the sin offering on the horns. The altar of incense is for offering incense to God, and not offering sacrifices or drink offering.
Exodus 30:11-16 is about the atonement money that must be paid by the soldiers counted who wanted to join the army in the censes. When a census is taken, each Israelite who want to cross over must pay half shekel, which is 20 gerahs as atonement money. Both the poor and rich must pay half shekel as atonement money. Every Israelite at least 20 years old must give an offering to God. The atonement money paid by the Israelites prevent God from bringing a plague on them.
Exodus 30:17-21 is the plan for the basin for washing. God commanded Moses to make a bronze basin with bronze stand. The bronze basin is for Aaron and his sons to wash their hands and feet whenever they enter the Tent of Meeting so that they will not die. Aaron and his sons are to present an offering when they approach the altar to minister. This is to be observed by all the priests of Aaron’s generation in the future.
Exodus 30:22-33 is the recipe for making the sacred anointing oil, that is to be used to anoint the Tent of Meeting. The ingredients for the sacred anointing oil are 500 shekels of liquid myrrh, 250 shekels of fragrant cinnamon, 250 shekels of fragrant cane, and 500 shekels of cassia. The sacred anointing oil is for anointing the Tent of Meeting, the ark of the Testimony, table and all its articles, the lampstand and its accessories, the altar of incense, the altar of burnt offering and all its utensils, and the basin with its stand so that they will become consecrated. Anything that touch these items will be holy. Moses must consecrate Aaron and his sons so that they will become holy. The oil cannot be used to pour on the body. Anyone who make the same perfume for their own use will be cut off from his people.
Exodus 30:34-38 is the recipe for the incense. The ingredients for the incense are equal amounts of gum resin, onycha and galbanum, and pure frankincense. The incense is to be made by a perfumer. The incense is to be salted, pure and sacred. God commanded Moses to grind some of the incense into powder and put it in front of the Testimony. The Israelites are not to make any incense with esame formula and enjoys its fragrance otherwise they will be cut off from the people.
Exodus 30 Bible Study
1. We are a pleasing aroma to God
The incense altar is for offering incense to God. The incense let out a fragrant aroma to God. We must worship and serve God with a sincere heart. If you humble yourself and worship God with a sincere heart, your worship will be like a pleasing aroma to God. It is not what you do for God. It is whether you do it with faith and a sincere heart. If you truly worship and serve God with a sincere heart, you will be a pleasing aroma of Christ to those who are not saved (2 Corinthians 2:15). Jesus Christ offer himself up as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God (Ephesians 5:2) so we must now surrender our lives and live for him. In Ezekiel 20:41, God said he will accept the Israelites as a fragrant incense to him when he gathered the Israelites from the different countries they are scattered.
2. Faith is hope in things that cannot be seen
The altar of incense is placed near the veil but behind the ark. Therefore, a priest who is offering incense at the altar will not see the ark, where God is enthroned. Similarly, when we pray, although we haven’t seen it accomplished yet, we must believe so that God will hear our prayer. We must keep on praying until God accomplish it in our lives. In Hebrews 11:1, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
3. Jesus cleanses our sins with the precious blood of Jesus Christ
Aaron is to offer the incense to God every morning and twilight. The aroma of the incense clear away the foul smell of the sacrifices of the brass altar. It is also offered as a pleasing aroma to God. After you confess your sins and repent, Jesus Christ will use his blood to wash away your sins so that you become a pleasing aroma to God (2 Corinthians 2:15).
4. Pray and worship God every day
Aaron is to tend the lamp the morning and light the lamp at the twilight. The lamp represents the word of God. In Psalms 119:105, the word of God is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. Just like Aaron light the lamp every day, we must read he word of God every day. The word of God gives is enlightenment and guide us to do things in God’s ways so that we will walk on the path of righteous and be in light not in darkness, which is the world. Aaron also must offer incense every day. The incense represents our prayer. Our prayer is like an incense to God. If you want your prayer to get through to God, you must trust in him and believe that you will receive what you ask (Hebrews 11:6).
5. Examine yourself and repent daily
Aaron and his sons are to wash themselves at the bronze basin before they went in to minister at the tabernacle. God said if they don’t wash themselves before ministering, they will die. Similarly, we must examine ourselves to see if we have offended God in any way every day. Then, we must confess our sins one by one and repent from them. When you truly repent from your sin, God will cleanse it away with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. In 1 John 1:9, if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
6. Respect God
God forbids the Israelites from making the sacred anointing oil or incense for their own uses. We must respect God. In 2 Timothy 2:15, we must do our best to present ourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the truth.