Altars 7- Ex. 20:23-24 Ye shall not make with me gods of silver, neither shall ye make unto you gods of gold. An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
By Richard Lodwick
Well, here we have arrived at a deep and powerful truth. Do you see it? It is multi layered. No gods of silver or gold, but an altar! There’s so much there! We have not time and space to exegete this passage completely, but my what teaching there is! NO worship of false gods, but worship of the True and Living God. NOT by statues or graven images (Ex. 20:4, Lev. 26:1) but at and on an altar. There will be sacrifices that are in line with Lev. 17:11 and testify to our sinfulness AND His forgiveness through the offering of the blood of an innocent sacrifice… for sin. The innocent… for the guilty!
But is is here that we will focus on something of great importance. Idols were for worship. Evil false worship. Not so the altar. It was not and is not the altar that is to be worshiped. Do you see that? IT is not to be made in such a fashion as to be ornate or fantastically beautiful in and of itself. IT is not to be worshiped,. It is a vehicle of sorts, NOT the thing being sacrificed TO or worshiped! I imagine you are already going somewhere in your mind. And, yes, that is one of the things I am thinking of, too. O, how man gets this stuff out of order and out of place, apart from the Bible! Connect here 20:26.
Note also, in V26 about no engraving or work of the hands. This is a teaching far beyond what most teach or preach today. Here, all the way back there, there is a veiled reference to “works.” Works are NEVER to be attached in ANY WAY to the sacrifice! Nothing is to be there that might lead to superstition, either. Sound familiar? It is to be of this old cursed earth! And, on it would be an innocent sacrifice, of blood! The altar merely holds the sacrifice. The sacrifice does the work! Now let’s take this where it needs to go.
In closing, think about that old cross! In no way ornate, or a beautiful gold thing, like Rome holds up. Just an old rugged, rough cross of wood, from this cursed earth. But on it was the ultimate sacrifice, and blood, that would take away the sin of the world! See our main verse again… what a blessing is there!!!!! Look at Titus 3:5 & Heb. 9:12-14. Now see Heb. 13:15. O, what an altar… His cross was!