Gen. 12:7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
By Richard Lodwick
Here we have the next special mention of an altar. Abram. God had just called him out of a heathen, idol worshiping people. What an illustration. God appeared to him there. God spoke to him there, at this place, and Abram builded an altar. Here it is an altar of reverence. What just took place was special. Is not His calling and saving of us out of sin and the world of death? By this solemn act of devotion Abram made an open profession of his faith and reverence, and established the right worship of the true God, and declared his faith in the promise God had given him. Abram considered it holy and worthy of something beyond just a thanks. He builded an altar. He also did so in the middle of a heathen land… Canaan. Notice it nowhere says he ever tore it down! Notice also the power of what God said to Abram. Has he not said as powerful to us… in Jesus? In His salvation? Should we honor God less? He blessed God back with this act! M. Henry says of this: As soon as Abram had got to Canaan, though he was but a stranger and sojourner there, yet he set up, and kept up, the worship of God in his family; and wherever he had a tent, God had an altar, and that an altar sanctified by prayer. For he not only minded the ceremonial part of religion, the offering of sacrifice, but made conscience of the natural duty of seeking to his God, and calling on his name, that spiritual sacrifice with which God is well pleased. The way of family worship is a good old way, is no novel invention, but the ancient usage of all the saints. Abram was very rich and had a numerous family, was now unsettled and in the midst of enemies, and yet, wherever he pitched his tent, he built an altar. (Read 12:8 here)
My, what God could again do in this nation, if we had families serious about separation and true worship of God… more than just on Sunday! O, how that altar can work in our life. THAT is where we keep close! THAT is where we really show how much we honor, and respect, and desire Him! Look again at Gen. 13:4. Where did Abram go back to? An altar. An altar of remembrance. My, my. And, what does it say he did there? Called…
Now, look at Gen. 13:18 & 22:9. Altars were the central “religious,” if you will, thing in his life. Why? Who they brought him to! God! And kept him grounded there! (And, NOT a shrine.. an altar!) Do you see it yet?
Now, who was Abraham’s son (of promise)? Isaac. Look at Gen. 26:24-25. O, how lightly we take the things our children see in us! Did Abram always live perfect? No. Did Isaac? No. But altars were still a part of their life. Altars draw us back to God, the only way we can approach Him. I ask again, how close to God do you want to be? I urge you, I beg you, make a special place and build an altar.. even if you travel… and keep it holy!
All CBBI Mini-series are authored by Richard Lodwick.