Genesis 35:3 And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.
The Altar in the Bible served many different purposes throughout the years to many different people; such as:
- Nearly every old testament saint had an altar in their life.
The Altar Served Many different purposes as well.
An altar to God to please Him
Genesis 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
An Altar to God to mark an important event (remembrance)
Genesis 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.
An Altar to fulfil God’s command
Exodus 20:24 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.
An Altar of forgiveness
Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
The Alter can be polluted
Malachi 1:7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.
What are you bringing to God? When you go to the Altar are you making promises you don’t keep? Are you just going through the motions to seem more spiritual? The Altar is a place where God simply asks that you be as serious about is as He is.
The Altar of God throughout the Bible has been used to signify events, bring about remembrance and to please God. It served a fundamental purpose in the Old Testament as a place of worship, sacrifice and understanding.
In today’s church we keep that tradition moving by having an old fashioned altar. A place where you can come and spend time with God. It can break barriers of humility and shows God that you are serious about doing God’s will as Abraham was when God ask him to sacrifice his son. It can be that point that takes you to that next level of being a better Christian. It can also mark a milestone or event in your life (place of remembrance)
One degree away.
212 degrees is when water goes from just water… to boiling. Oft times we are going through the motions, we hear the Alter call every service and we don’t take advantage because “we don’t need to or I want to leave or I’ll just do it later… We really feel that we are “on fire for God” doing those things WE feel would be pleasing to God. But are we doing those things we KNOW He would be pleased with. We operate so close to the mark, perhaps at times getting to 211 degrees! But never boiling over for God.
God desires us to spend time with Him, read His word, pray and go to church… What we leave on the table is what will define us in our Walk with God. The Altar is that place that can take you one more degree, that one step away, sold out, nothing left. When we add to those things a heart to serve we can truly boil over in our faith… and truly experience God’s blessing…