Josh. 22:26-27 Therefore we said, Let us now prepare to build us an altar, not for burnt offering, nor for sacrifice: But that it may be a witness between us, and you, and our generations after us, that we might do the service of the LORD before him with our burnt offerings, and with our sacrifices, and with our peace offerings; that your children may not say to our children in time to come, Ye have no part in the LORD.
By Richard Lodwick
On the heels of our study on Bethel, it is good that we take a look at altars throughout the Bible. It is my prayer that these studies elevate what Jesus did far above any level we have previously had. This may at first seem to be merely about facts and details, but it is not. It is, I hope, far more than that.
Altars were where man approached God, in the way God had specified. Men like Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Gideon, David, Jeshua & Zerubbabel, and Samuel built altars. So we see that altars were a central theme and item in the life of Israel, God’s people. They were places of obedience, worship, and sacrifice. They were in times of repentance, thanksgiving, and refocusing on God! They were always places of sacrifice, not a shrine that is worshiped and revered above the God to Whom the altar was really made! Altar building was ALWAYS directed towards the True and Living God, if they were to be right.
Now, you have already noticed that I do not print every verse. If we did that it would take years to complete even one series. Instead I give you references so that you can and will have your own Bible open and become more and more familiar with it. In so doing, we sacrifice our time and lives to the study and knowing of God’s word, and I hope, have a Bethel and an altar of our own! Have we become so preoccupied, in this nation, with things and dainties of this world, to where we give less and less, and finally no time to God? Do we worship the stuff rather than the God Who gives us all good things? Are we really so slothful that we have to be spoon fed everything or be given only milk, rather than strong food? Altars required then, and require now, time and effort.. sacrifice and substance, to approach God. May we begin more to chase/seek Him (Prv. 8:17, Is. 58:2, Jer. 29:13, Zep. 2:3, for those who argue with this term), rather than expecting Him to chase us. May we begin anew, in this series, to set up an altar to Him in our lives today, and have our Bethel, and ELBethel. May we honestly look at what is important to us! Altars receive things of value!
Now, to close this intro, altars had sacrifices on them, else why were they built? To offer that which is pleasing and required. Yes, we have Christ, but we can offer thanks, praise, righteousness, time, money, sleep, our lives to service, and on and on. Got an ELbethel altar? Why not?
What in or of this world have we placed on our altar, for truly we all do have one! Arise, go up to Bethel… and make there an altar unto God!
All CBBI Mini-series are authored by Richard Lodwick.