Exodus 20 ( New living Translation )
24 “Build for me an altar made of earth, and offer your sacrifices to me—your burnt offerings and peace offerings, your sheep and goats, and your cattle. Build my altar wherever I cause my name to be remembered, and I will come to you and bless you. 25 If you use stones to build my altar, use only natural, uncut stones. Do not shape the stones with a tool, for that would make the altar unfit for holy use.
In my first post titled “Identity Crisis”, I wrote about the dangers of trying to be someone your not meant to be. I specifically made reference to our personal altars before the Lord and the dangers of not building it according to the God intended design. If you haven’t read it I would recommend it, not because I wrote it, but because I believe it will bless you as well. In this post I want to focus on the a general blueprint as dictated in Exodus chapter 20. God has been placing this in my heart for the past few days, “Build me an altar”. Lets break down the verses.
Verse 24: “Build for me an altar made of earth…”
I know that the original text was intended as an instructional guide or a how to, but I am a firm believer that everything in the Word is relevant and applicable to us today. This first portion of the scripture God request an altar to be made of earth. When I read this the first thing I thought of is the creation of man. Taking this back to our early days in bible school, in the book of Genesis, we learned that man was created from earth itself. We can, under this context, say that this altar is built from you, in you and by you. This humble altar would be built, in its most basic form, out of stones. Not just any stone but, as it is indicated in verse 25, natural uncut stones. I believe that these stones are made from the deepest and most difficult trials we go through for it is by way of trials that these we are spiritually shaped. There is purpose behind the problems. God desires that you to take those things that he has brought you through and out of and no matter how difficult the situation may have been, he would have you use it as a building block towards an offering to him. Don’t try to build your alter before the Lord with stones shaped with tools, that is to say, your alter cannot be composed of your own accomplishments and achievements. Things that you have done as if to merit the favor of the Lord. He says “for that would make the altar unfit for holy use”. You can build an altar under your own specifications and design so that it reflects or shows off who you are to all around you but you can’t fool God. Your offering will not rise an inch from the altar. He says “Build my altar wherever I cause my name to be remembered…” I ask you what is one of your fondest memories in your walk with God? For many it would be a deliverance, a miracle, a time when he met the need or answered a long standing prayer. Take these moments and mark them in your mind and heart. Take the lesson learned and use it to build your alter then place your offering upon this altar of earth and stone.
So as Isaac asked his Father Abraham on the mountain, where is the sacrifice? We will discuss this in part 2 of “Build Me An Altar”