MEMORY VERSE: And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down. 1 Kings 18:30
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Psalms 134-136
What is an altar? An altar is any structure upon which offerings; such as, sacrifices are made for religious purposes. For instance, Noah built an altar (a structure upon which offerings are made for religious purposes ) after the flood unto the Lord, and took of every beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on it (Genesis 8:20). An altar is also a place of consecration. Whenever God visits His people or does something tangible in their lives, they respond by building an altar unto Him. This altar represents a desire to consecrate one's self fully unto the Lord. For instance, Abram, after the Lord appeared unto him, built an altar (Genesis 12:7).
In summary, an altar is merely a designated place, a meeting point, where man meets with God regularly to talk to Him, hear from Him, pray to Him, study His words, and so on. It is a place where we come to present ourselves as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God (Romans 12:1). 1 Kings 18:30 says: “And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.” Elijah's restoration of the altar was significant, given the rampant paganism of his day. For the altar to be repaired, it must have been broken. For the altar to be broken, then, it must have been standing. For the altar to be standing, it must have been built.
There are four types of altars. Firstly, “No- Altar”. In Exodus 1, 2&3, the children of Isreal struggled before erected altars unto the Lord - when they worshipped the gods of the Egyptians. This period was a period of bondage. This was not only a tough time, it was a difficult time. Their children were cast into River Nile. A man who has not given his life to Christ is at this stage. He will always be at the mercy of the enemy. There is the “Standing-Altar”. After God delivered them out of the hand of the Egyptians, they built altars unto the Lord. This period was marked with signs and wonders. It was marked with an abundance of resources. It was a period of peace because they had a relationship with God. After a man gives his life to Christ, he is expected to enter into this stage. He is expected to have an altar where he meets God regularly. He is expected to have a quiet time. There is the “Cold-Altar”. This was the period where the children of Israel began to relax in their worship. This is a time when a man begins to miss his quiet time. Lastly, there is the “Broken-Altar”. This period was marked by hardship and struggle. It was a period of stagnancy in their lives as they abandoned God and worshipped Baal and as a result, the altar of the Lord fell into disrepair. During this period, God shut the heavens and it didn’t rain for three years. When a man begins to miss his quiet time, if care is not taken he may backslide into the world and his altar before God becomes “broken”.
QUESTION: What is the state of your altar? Do you have an altar at all? Do you have a quiet time? If you have, what happens during your quiet time? Does God still speak? The state of your altar will determine the state of your life.
ACTION: Carefully assess your altar before the Lord and take necessary action.
Bro Samuel | Reaching the world