Read Genesis 12:1-7
“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” (v. 7).
I’m glad that we still have an altar! The patriarchs in the Old Testament regularly built altars at the site of a theophany; a place where God had appeared to them. It would seem natural to build an altar to commemorate the appearance of God.
There is a theological significance to an altar. Altars in the Bible were places of sacrifice. But, beyond that, the altar was also a place that marked the site of God’s appearance and presence. Many churches no longer have altars at the front of the sanctuary. This is disturbing to me. I’m grateful for the many times when I, personally, have met God at an altar! The continued use of the altar in the worship of God is vitally important. The altar is a place where God’s people can just come and bask in His presence or seek His guidance and power in their lives.
It may be that many believe the altar is just a place where one seeks God for salvation and sanctification. And it certainly is that; however, the altar can be utilized often just to bring the people of the church together into the presence of God! Let’s allow the altar to be a place where all are welcomed to come into the presence of the Lord. Don’t allow the altar to be only an article of furniture in the sanctuary. Use it! (KDK)
Who can tell all the love
He will send from above,
And how happy our hearts will be made,
Of the fellowship sweet
We shall share at His feet,
When our all on the altar is laid.
(Elisha Hoffman; Public Domain)
This devotional is the Monday, May 30, 2016 entry of Opening the Word.