November 29th

An Altar Unto the LORD

Genesis 12:8
And he went from there unto a mountain on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west and Hai on the east; and there he built an altar unto the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD.

An Altar of Worship

This verse is from the life of Abraham, who was known at that time as Abram. Abram was a worshiper. There are four distinct passages of scripture that tell us about him building altars to the LORD.

What is an Altar?

An altar is a consecrated place set apart from the busy routine of daily life, a place where one offers up sacrifices to God. Abram would use stones to set up a platform on which he could offer up animal sacrifices to the LORD by killing them and burning them. This was the common means in those days by which men would worship deity, by way of animal sacrifices.

The Eternal Sacrifice

We do not sacrifice animals on altars today to worship God, because of the once and for all sacrifice of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ. There is no longer a need for the blood of innocent animals to be shed to cover our sins. The eternal sin offering has been offered up once forever.

Honoring Him

But there are some interesting things to take note of in Abram’s altar sacrifices. One is that he gave something of value to the LORD. Animals were one of the primary forms of material substance for people of that day. It’s like our giving to support the Church or to advance the preaching of the gospel. And the Bible tells us to honor the LORD with our substance, and with the first fruits of all our increase, and so shall our barns will be filled with plenty. Abram was certainly blessed. The Bible says that he was very rich in cattle, silver and gold.

Alone with God

The altar is also a place of time alone with God. The Bible says that Abram built an altar unto the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. He had a desire to know God, and to fellowship with Him. Our time spent with the LORD in prayer, in searching out and meditating in His word, and in our seeking of His divine guidance becomes the altar in our own lives.

Start developing a personal life with God today. Jesus said that those who develop a secret life with the LORD will be rewarded openly. If we are not being openly rewarded in our lives, it may be that we don’t have much of a secret life with Him, a secret life that we need to cultivate. The Bible tells us that those who dwell in that secret place shall abide under the shadow and protection of the Most High.