Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is obtained from a tree by making incisions in the bark and allowing the gum to flow out. It is highly fragrant when burned and was therefore used in worship, where it was burned as a pleasant offering to God.
Before the very essence of this album review, let’s find out why the three wise men brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh to baby Jesus.
The Bible tells us that the magi, or wise men, travelled from the East in search of the Christ child. They inquired of King Herod where they might find Him, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him”. Upon finding the baby Jesus, “they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh”
Gold is a precious metal and as such was a very valuable commodity. Its value could very well have financed Joseph and Mary’s trip to Egypt. The Bible does not tell us any other significance to these three gifts; however, tradition has it that there is a deeper meaning for each of the three. Gold is a symbol of divinity and is mentioned throughout the Bible. Pagan idols were often made from gold and the Ark of the Covenant was overlaid with gold. The gift of gold to the Christ child was symbolic of His divinity—God in flesh.
Myrrh was also a product of Arabia, and was obtained from a tree in the same manner as frankincense. It was a spice and was used in embalming. It was also sometimes mingled with wine to form an article of drink. Such a drink was given to our Savior when He was about to be crucified, as a stupefying potion. Matthew 27:34 refers to it as “gall.” Myrrh symbolizes bitterness, suffering, and affliction. The baby Jesus would grow to suffer greatly as a man and would pay the ultimate price when He gave His life on the cross for all who would believe in Him.
Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to the Christ child was symbolic of His willingness to become a sacrifice, wholly giving Himself up, analogous to a burnt offering.
In Israel and other nations, frankincense was highly valued, even as it was used for medicines, incense, and perfumes. Interestingly, it was encountered for the first time in the Bible in God’s instructions for the services of the tabernacle. The use of frankincense was commanded, both as a chief ingredient of the incense which was to be kept burning in the tabernacle and also in connection with the meal offering.
Let’s recollect when David prayed, he said: “Let my prayer be set forth before Thee as incense”. As the smoke of the burning offering ascended up from the altar, so the people believed their prayers would go up to God with it, and it would be a sweet savor to Him.
The typological meaning of burning incense as prayer rising up to God is seen even in the prophecies of Revelation. John saw “golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints”. This surely gives us a clue as to the real significance of burning incense (especially its chief ingredient, frankincense) rising up to God’s throne. We pray, on the basis of the sin-cleansing sacrifice of the Lamb of God, and they rise up to the throne of God via the indwelling Spirit of God.
In the Old Testament figure, the High Priest had to serve as the intermediary, but now the relationship is different: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.
Now we can see how meaningful was this gift of frankincense to the little child in Bethlehem. Not only is He destined to be the great King, but also our eternal High Priest. The incense confesses that He alone can convey our prayers, and indeed our very souls to God. And truly, He alone can.
Basically, let’s look at the fundamental use of Frankincense. It promotes calmness, serenity and relaxation. These indications will always be present, no matter how frankincense is used, and for what.
Presently here on earth, Frankincense is diversified. We have a different meaning and will to it from Frank Edwards’ point of view. One of the Africa’s most celebrated Gospel recording artiste, Frank Edwards just made a release of his new album – “Frankincense”. This album explores the artiste’s creativity in various genres such as; Reggae, Ballad, Afro-ballad and other collection of praise and worship songs.
Before the release of this talent-filled album, popular Gospel musician, writer and performer, Mark-T had called my attention to Frank’s three minutes and few seconds video, where he captivated the heart of every listener/viewer, as he journeys us into his musical world, instruments played and his motivation as a Gospel artiste, with a difference.
Emotionally, he shared that his “Frankincense” is more than an album, as he added, “it’s an offering to God, it’s an offering to God.” And surely, it ended up being an offering to the Master of all universes, the talent giver. On realizing God’s role in the massiveness and success of his career, Frank Edwards felt it was time to package a basket of appreciation to Him.
Take a look at the ratings. He is realistically one of the best gospel acts coming out of Africa as a continent. He is a Nigerian, but as a brand, he belongs to Africans. As the saying goes, “thank the giver, he will give you more.” The best of Frank is yet to be heard. His latest EP with music wizardry, Don Moen is yet to hit the world’s center-stage; and you and I are yet to feel the news of such elevation coming to the world.
Looking at how Frank started, and to the record his career had recorded, I see grace unspeakable. From Omemma to ‘Nye Ya Ekele’, I see glory. Yet, he is counting. Anything he touches ends up being gold. Take a look at the very hot single, Chukwu Obioma where Mark-T featured him, you will observe a rendition of hope and deliverance.
By: Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor
Ugochukwu Favour-Mayor writes through his twitter handle @UgochukwuFM