“Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So, he put in the incense and made atonement for the people.” — Numbers 16:47
CONTENDING WITH CHALLENING TIMES
Perhaps you are experiencing some concern, or even anxiety, in the season you find yourself in. With very high inflation, increases in food and energy costs, or perversion directed at our children, some of us are struggling and highly stressed. How does God want us to deal with these uncertain and challenging times?
How do we as Christians respond to social, political, and spiritual issues, that if left unchecked, lead to rebellion and perversion infiltrating our culture? Pastor Jack gave us a Biblical answer in a message many years ago. As Aaron walked through the people with incense and the consequence of rebellion against God was lifted, so we as disciples of Jesus can pray and lift holy hands. When we begin to pray, we bring the righteous provision of God and change the course of events around us.
The account is in Numbers 16 where leaders acted in rebellion against God. With the assistance of Dathan and Abiram, Korah tried to take control of the Hebrew camp. He challenged Moses and Aaron by asking why they were in charge. This political coupe was an afront to God and considered rebellion. They thumbed their noses at God as if to say, “Our ways are better than God’s ways.”
Being Moses’ cousin did not keep Korah from being rude and insubordinate to him. With 250 representatives of the congregation, these men rebelled against the leadership of Moses and Aaron. God was very upset and said to Moses, “Get away from among this congregation, that I may consume them in a moment.” (Num 16:44) Moses and Aaron immediately got on their knees and began to intercede for the people.
Trying to save the people, Moses said to Aaron, “Take a censer and put fire in it from the altar, put incense on it, and take it quickly to the congregation and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone out from the Lord. The plague has begun.” (Numbers 16:46)
“Then Aaron took it as Moses commanded and ran into the midst of the assembly; and already the plague had begun among the people. So, he put in the incense and made atonement for the people.” (Numbers 16:47)
Aaron rushed into middle of the congregation and burned incense while people were dying all around him. In the Bible, incense is a symbol of prayer. In a demonstration of worship, Aaron swung the incense burner as he moved between the living and the dead. Everywhere Aaron went, the pandemic stopped.
Psalm 141:2 “Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.” In the same way Aaron’s intercession stopped the pandemic, your prayers have the power to stop the contagious virus moving through our land.
How do we activate this principle of standing between the living and dead? The answer lies in Revelation 5:8 “Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”Verse 10 says, “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shallreign on the earth.”
The scroll is the title deed to planet earth to establish the rule and power of the Almighty. There is no one worthy to open it except Jesus. Jesus has given us that authority to rule when He says we have been made a kingdom of priests. Kingdom and priests are representations of authority and worship.
What has been accomplished in the heavens is yet to be established on the earth. How do we bring that authority down to earth? It is not by protests, politics, or preaching on the street. We don’t even reign by being experts on the issues in our culture. We reign through the ministry of the priest, moving among the people, between the living and dead – lifting prayers. Wherever that occurs, rebellion against the purposes of God is stopped. The contagious virus that causes death will be stopped. But it requires priests to go into that setting.
The key is not activism, though that may be something a few of us are called to. Neither should we be passive when it comes to these issues in our culture and nation. Yet God responds when our prayers, like incense, are lifted-up to Him.
In 1978, Pastor Jack tells how he agonized in prayer over the homosexual community’s agenda to advance into the classrooms of California. “I didn’t know how to pray. I just said, ‘Lord, Help! Let righteousness prevail in our state. Bring confusion to the works of darkness. Then I just prayed in the Spirit.’”
The works of darkness will be stopped when we as priests move in the authority we have been given through prayer. Prayer works against any spirit or issue that boasts itself in rebellion against God. Be encouraged! You can make the difference!
If you are burdened by the elections, overt perversion, or unrighteous acts of any kind, kneel before God right now and offer the aroma of prayer. If struggling, ask God to build your faith in this area. Then watch to see what He will do to stop the pandemic of immorality.