Holy and Clean

Holy and Clean Devo Image

“You shall make an altar to burn incense on; you shall make it of acacia wood. A cubit shall be its length and a cubit its width—it shall be square—and two cubits shall be its height. Its horns shall be of one piece with it. And you shall overlay its top, its sides all around, and its horns with pure gold; and you shall make for it a molding of gold all around. Two gold rings you shall make for it, under the molding on both its sides. You shall place them on its two sides, and they will be holders for the poles with which to bear it. You shall make the poles of acacia wood, and overlay them with gold. And you shall put it before the veil that is before the ark of the Testimony, before the mercy seat that is over the Testimony, where I will meet with you.”—Exodus 30:1–6 (NKJV)

There’s so much important information in these verses and so many details that it can be easy to want to skip over it or get overwhelmed in wanting to learn and understand the why of each and every detail! Or maybe, all that sticks out to you are all the “you shall” and “you shall not” statements which may have you thinking that God is too bossy and you just don’t see the point of following all these “orders.” Our Almighty God doesn’t do anything haphazardly. So, let’s talk a bit more about these elements in Exodus 30.

In verses 1–10, God speaks about the altar of incense they were to build. And in verses 33–38, He shares about the type of incense they were to offer. In Scripture, incense (which here was to be offered continually) is often associated with prayer (which God desires to hear continually). God considers the prayers of believers to be like a sweet smell of incense (Revelation 5:8, 8:3).

Verses 11–16 speak about the ransom money each Israelite aged 20 and older was to give. It was a set amount (a half-shekel) because it was not a tithe. A preacher named G.C. Morgan put it this way, “The half-shekel was not a gift in the sense of a free-will offering. It was a recognition of redemption, a sign of atonement, made and received. Here the rich and the poor stood upon a perfect equality.”

Then we move on to the bronze laver (a bowl to wash in) in verses 17–21. The priests needed to wash their hands and feet there regularly after offering sacrifices. If we aren’t cleansed, we can’t have fellowship with the Lord. Jesus also displayed this when He washed the disciples’ feet (John 13:1–15), just as we must regularly be cleansed from the dirt of this world by Jesus, the one who gives living water (Jeremiah 2:13; John 7:38).

God then gave instruction on how to make a holy anointing oil to anoint the priests and some of the items that were to be used by them. In verse 33, He gives clear instruction that if anyone were to make any like it for other purposes, they were to be cut off from His people. He gives a similar instruction for the holy incense in verse 38.

God’s main desire for His people is for them to be holy (Exodus 19:6; 1 Peter 1:16) and consecrated to Him (Leviticus 20:7, 21:8). He set up these laws as “guardrails” for our protection because He knew we were going to need guidance though He gave us free will. However, these rituals that were required ended up showing us that they were not enough to make us right with God. He doesn’t just want ritual gestures, He wants our hearts. That doesn’t mean that these verses are not important and that we’re ok just skipping over them. If we do, we may miss how God’s heart was and has always been for His people from the beginning.

Pause: Is being holy possible? What does it mean to be consecrated to God?

Practice: Look up the definition of holy and consecrated. Jesus is our one and only example of this in a human/person. Write down ways you could be more like Him.

Pray: Dear Lord I confess I am not holy. Thank You for the perfect example of Your Son, who was not only Holy but also sacrificed His life so I could be holy as well. Please help me be holy as You are Holy. Amen.

About the Author

Mirely Maldonado

Mirely Maldonado has been part of the Calvary Chapel family since 2013 and now serves as staff in the Events Department. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film & Digital Video Production and has taught the Bible at Bible Study Fellowship for six years. She treasures good conversation, enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, and loves reading.