f j o - l i t t A . f e a y a t i t
I WILL PRAY with the spirit, and ... with the understanding also,” writes Paul in 1 Corinthians 14:15. HoW graciously God has provided an exact prescription as well as a con crete example for prayer! We are not to be guided by vague generalizations, but by a precise statement of the req uisite elements in their correct pro portions; then in accurate relation to this prescription is Christ’s model for prayer, popularly termed “The Lord’s Prayer.” In the study of the tabernacle, we find incense to be a type of prayer, and we shall see that the character of the ingredients and their significance correspond to the great model prayer which the Lord Jesus Christ gave to His followers. God said to Moses: “Take unto thee sweet spices, STACTE, and ONYCHA, and GALBANUM; these sweet spices with pure FRANKIN CENSE: of each shall there be a like weight: And thou shalt make it a per fume, a confection after the art of the apothecary, tempered together, pure and holy” (Ex. 30:34, 35). Here we have the exact prescrip tion requiring equal parts of four defi nitely designated ingredients, to be tempered together after the art of the apothecary. We find that each ele ment discloses the qualities which it imparts. The first requirement is STACTE, (Hebrew nataph ) the Balm of Gilead (Gen. 37:25 ; 43:11; Jer. 8:22; 46:11; 51:8; Ezek. 27:17). It is a soft resin
ous substance with pleasing, penetrat ing balsamic odor, especially after it is kept for some time. Medicinally, it is used for parasitic skin diseases. Here is BALM, the healing, soothing element in prayer. The second ingredient is ONYCHA (Hebrew shechleth) the celebrated odoriferous shell of the onyx or per fume crab, the operculum or “nail” of a species of Strombus or “Wing shell,” formerly well known in Europe under the name of Blatta Byzantina, im ported into Bombay to bum with frankincense and other incense to bring out their odors more strongly, thus intensifying their virtues. In onycha is indicated the INTENSIFY ING of virtues and fervor, the second specification for prayer. Then there is GALBANUM (Hebrew helbenah), a bitter Syrian gum with a musk odor yielded by opoidia gal- banifera (Royle) of Khorassan. In medicine it is employed as a stimu lant. Pliny ascribes to galbanum ex traordinary curative powers, asserting that “the very touch of it mixed with oil of spondylium is sufficient to kill a serpent.” Here indeed is STIMULA TION with serpent (Satan) killing properties to be added to prayer as prescribed by God.
The fourth essential element pre scribed in G e n e s i s 8:21-is PURE FRANKINCENSE (Hebrew lebonah ), translated literally, “savor of satis faction.” It is a gum resin obtained from Boswellia trees. These trees grow “without soil, out of polished marble rocks to which they are attached by a thick oval mass of substance resem bling a mixture of lime and mortar; the purer the marble, the finer appears to be the growth of the tree. The young trees furnish the most valuable gum.” An incision is made in the trunk of the tree and five inches of bark peeled off; a milk-like juice exudes and hardens by exposure- to the atmosphere. Then the incision is deepened. In three months, the resin attains the right consistency, forming oblong tears and lumps. It has a bit ter aromatic taste and bums readily for illumination; it was never used in enbalming the dead, but was always regarded as especially consecrated to worship. In the Old Testament, it is mentioned in Exodus, Leviticus, Num bers, 1 Chronicles, Nehemiah, and the Song of Solomon, while in the New Testament in Matthew 2:11, there is the account of the wise men of the East bringing ?n their treasures frankin cense, when they came to worship our
Made with FlippingBook - Online magazine maker