Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Offering of sweet smelling incense in the morning and at twilight


Ketoret is the transliteration of the Hebrew word קטרת which is translated into English as Ketoret (or Qetoret) meaning incense and generally is used when referring to the holy incense described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud. It is also referred to as the HaKetoret (holy incense). It was offered on the alter of incense in the time of the Tabernacle and the first and second Temple period. The ketoret was an important component of the Temple in Jerusalem.

In Judaism, the sanctuary lamp is known by its Hebrew name, ner tamid, which is usually translated as "eternal flame" or "eternal light." Hanging or standing in front of the ark in every Jewish synagogue, it is meant to represent the menorah of the Temple in Jerusalem as well as the continuously burning fire on the altar of burnt offerings in front of the Temple.  It also symbolizes God's eternal presence, and is therefore never extinguished. 

God commanded Moses in Exodus 30:7-8 "Aaron must burn fragrant incense on the altar every morning when he tends the lamps.  He must burn incense again at twilight so incense will burn regularly before the LORD for the generations to come."

The incense denotes our lives to be offered as a sweet smelling offering to God, early in the morning, following in the footsteps of Jesus who awoke early in the morning while it was still dark and went to a solitary place to pray to the Father.  And then again at twilight.  Twilight is a time when the sun has gone down and darkness is about to come over the land.   So that even in darkness God will be our light.  HIS Word which is a lamp to our feet to guide us while the rest of the World, without this guiding light remains in darkness.  We can then let our lights shine so that they who are in darkness, seeing the light will also come into the light of JESUS CHRIST.

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