Throughout history God has always provided His people with a place to meet with Him. In biblical times, that place was the altar. When God met His people in a special way or did something miraculous …
Throughout history God has always provided His people with a place to meet with Him. In biblical times, that place was the altar. When God met His people in a special way or did something miraculous for them, He would tell them to build an altar on the spot as a memorial of the meeting. Whenever they came upon the altar again, they would remember how God met them there.
After the Israelites left their bondage in Egypt, God gave instructions for them to build a tabernacle which would now become their place of meeting. A very important part of this was the altar. He gave very specific directions for the use of the altar. When the people sinned, they were to make atonement for their sin by bringing the correct offering, either a burnt offering, sin offering or guilt offering depending on the offense.
The Israelites could also bring grain offerings to the altar. These were to express voluntary acts of worship and devotion in recognition of God’s goodness and provisions. They could also bring voluntary fellowship, or peace offerings, as acts of worship and thanksgiving towards God, as well as fellowship with Him.
God still desires to have a place of meeting with us, His people. We no longer sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar for the forgiveness of our sins, since Jesus paid the ultimate price and became our sin offering for all time. However, we still need to meet with the Lord in sacrificial humility to confess our sins and ask for His forgiveness.
God also desires us to find a place of meeting to express our love and devotion to Him, to worship Him with thankful hearts for all He has done for us. He has poured out His love and forgiveness upon us, and met every need, many times miraculously. We need to remember those things and long to have fellowship with the Lord, and pursue an intimate relationship with Him.
At times it may feel like bringing Him our praise and worship is truly a sacrifice. We come to the altar many times with heavy hearts, carrying burdens, needing answers, sorrowful and grieving. But that is where we can give these things to the Lord to carry for us, and we can leave the place of meeting with peace and hope.
In years past, many churches provided this place of meeting with the Lord in an area known as the altar. It was there we could go to cry out to Him and pour out our hearts, to seek His face, worship Him, confess our sins, or sing our praises and thanksgiving to Him. But this place of meeting has gone by the wayside in many churches.
However, in past weeks the Lord has decided to once again open the altar and meet with His children on college campuses across the nation. As young people, followed by those of every age, came to the altar to meet with the Lord, there was crying, seeking, repentance, healing, and miracles as the Lord poured out His presence and His spirit upon these hungry hearts.
Let’s follow suit and provide a place of meeting with the Lord once again in our churches. Let’s open the altars and invite the Lord to come in to meet with us. God will not refuse hungry hearts who long to be in His presence.
Hope Ministries is a Christian counseling center, and we are here to help. If you would like to speak confidentially with someone, give us a call at 845-482-5300.
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