And the Lord said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel: You saw for yourselves that I spoke to you from heaven. Remember, you must not make any idols of silver or gold to rival me.
“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.
Early in the morning we gathered together and were divided into pairs. Without speaking we would use the next 30 minutes to build an altar using whatever materials were available on the ground. Each pair ventured out into the area. Some stayed close to the church. Others continued further out.
There are numerous times when altars were built in times past. I couldn’t help but remember Abraham’s journey up the mountain with Issac, and the altars of many others in the Old Testament. Not all the altars were to God. Some were to other gods.
There were 450 prophets of Baal who when challenged by Elijah spent the day sacrificing and cutting themselves while waiting for their god to simply accept their sacrifice. Then Elijah made his sacrifice to God and had the people quench his altar 3 times with water so that the trenches around it were filled. When he called on God everything was instantly consumed with fire. Not a drop of water remained. That day the 450 prophets of Baal were put to death. Their lives were ended because they served a false god.
Where have we made altars? In a real sense we build altars every day. We spend our lives sacrificing for something every minute of every day.
Some of that time might be spent sacrificing on the altar of family. Some of that time could be spent on the altar of success and/or money. Some spent on the altar of pleasure and comforts. Those choices dictate what we are sacrificing for and all of these things yield temporary results.
What kind of altar have you built and who are you building it to?
I challenge you to go out early in the morning and build an altar. Contemplate on what and who you are living for. Is it for the one who sacrificed everything for you or are you living for yourself?
What will you gain from those sacrifices? Is it temporary or permanent?
On the dreaded altar of Golgotha, Jesus made a sacrifice and paid with his life for you to live. Then, though he was dead, raised himself up again because he is the one true God.
Don’t make the mistake of making sacrifices to gods that have no power, that care nothing for you and will only steal your life. Instead choose the one true God, the one who loved you enough to die for you and has offered you an eternal life if you would accept his gift to you.