“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.” Gen 12:7 ESV
After the flood, Noah built an altar to the Lord and the Lord found the aroma of the sacrifice “pleasing.”
After David sinned he built an altar on the threshing floor.
After the exile, the altar was the first thing built in the temple.
Throughout the bible, heroes of the Old Testament built altars to God marking an intervention with God himself.
“Altars were placed where the divine and human worlds interacted” (Thomas W. Davis).
Sacrifices were made because “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness,” (Hebrews 9:22) and, because Jesus became that perfect sacrifice, we are no longer bound by that Old Testament law.
We don’t see Christians erecting altars, but we ought to be building altars in our hearts.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,” (1 Corinthians 6:19 ESV)
Our bodies are temples. Let’s build an altar of praise there! Praise is remembering in joy what God has done for us, and He is worthy of our praise!
Where has God been at work in your life? Where have the “divine and human worlds interacted?”
Remember what Christ has done for you — in big things, and also the things we have started to take for granted. Has God had a hand in the place you are living? In your family, and who your family has become? Your schoolwork? Has God led you through something recently? Look back at the destiny of your life and go to the altar as David did, in 1 Chronicles 21:26:
“And David built there an altar to the Lord and presented burnt offerings and peace offerings and called on the Lord, and the Lord[a] answered him with fire from heaven upon the altar of burnt offering.” (1 Chronicles 21:26 ESV)
“We have an altar [Christ] … Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God” (Hebrews 13:10,15).
He is worthy of our praise!
Brian Jackson is President and CEO of Mighty Missouri Coffee Co., a coffee roasting company and cafe located in North Dakota, where he swims, bikes, runs, and does everything else he can to be outside. His faith journey has led him from adventures in the out-of-doors to adventures in entrepreneurism, and through it all he hopes his life points to someone greater.