Legacy Devotional: Day 2
A Place of Honour and Communion
“And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.” –Genesis 12:8, NKJV
Key Passage: Genesis 12:7-9, 13:14-18
Abraham is one of the great biblical heroes of faith and his life is full of lessons for us.
There is a recurring phrase found in the divine commentary on Abraham’s life: “Abraham built an altar to the Lord.”
Although his geographical location kept changing and his choice of physical dwelling reflected this transience, Abraham always built something permanent that spoke of his steadfast relationship with God. Right outside his flimsy, portable tent, he would build a solid altar of heavy stones that would become a place of sacrifice and communion with the Lord. Long after his tent had been packed up and carried away, the altar would remain: large and immovable, a permanent structure that stood as a testament to the relationship.
No longer having direct access to the presence of God in the Garden of Eden, these men of faith knew that the only way to approach God was on the basis of sacrifice at an altar. An altar was a place where sin was acknowledged and where a sacrifice was offered on behalf of the guilty party as the only way of obtaining mercy and being restored to divine favour.
These primitive altars in biblical history were places of responsibility, sacrifice and devotion. They prefigure God’s House, the Church, where God was to be encountered by His people. Although the need for animal sacrifice now has been satisfied once and for all time by Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, the principle of Abraham’s altar is still relevant: more permanent than our tent should be our place of meeting with God.
Regardless of where we live or what happens in life, we need to prioritise our relationship with God, intentionally building permanence, honour and devotion into it. How can you do this on a daily basis?