“And Aaron shall burn thereon sweet incense every morning: when he dresseth the lamps, he shall burn incense upon it. And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at even, he shall burn incense upon it, a perpetual incense before the LORD throughout your generations.”—Exodus 30:7-8
Herein lies our hope for our own eternal salvation, in the ceaseless plea and the quenchless light. For the working out of that which God is working in us, both to will and to do of his own good pleasure, we have these two guarantees and helps, —the Saviour praying and the Spirit shining. Jesus is pleading, and therefore our faith fails not when Satan sifts us as wheat; the Spirit is working, and therefore the light of our faith is sustained by a secret mystic oil which prevents the enemy from putting it out. This also is our two-fold confidence when we go forth into the world to preach the gospel. Unto the Lord Jesus all power is given in heaven and in earth, and he is “able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” The Church of God must succeed in her mission because her errand is the object of the continual prayers of her living Lord. But she has her second help, namely the Comforter who abideth with us and goeth forth with the word that we preach, making it potent for the conversion of the sons of men. We have the incense of Christ’s merit pleading with God, and the light of God’s Spirit pleading with men: we have Christ as an advocate with God, and the Holy Ghost as an advocate with men. What more is needed? What joy and confidence we ought to feel in the work of the Lord since Jesus is pleading and the Spirit is striving at the same time: the incense rising, filling earth and heaven with its sweetness, and the Spirit brightly shining to the comfort and delight of those who go forth into the darkness with the name of Jesus on their lips. Joy to those who sit in darkness, and in the valley of the shadow of death, for even for them is this seven-fold light shining; and to their dank, pestilential abodes there comes the healing breath of sweet perfume from the Redeemer’s merits.
Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)
Delivered Sunday Morning, March 11, 1883
at the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington
Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, Vol. 29, No. 1710, “Incense and Light”