‘Make the altar out of boards and leave the inside hollow.’ Exodus 27:8 NCV
The altar in the tabernacle was a place where sacrifices were offered in worship to God. And He had definite ideas about how it was to be built: ‘Make the altar out of boards and leave the inside hollow.’ A stone or metal structure would have been heavy to transport, whereas a hollow wooden altar could be carried on poles and travel along with the Israelites.
The image of a moveable altar is a reminder that while you should be part of a local church, you’re not restricted to worshipping God in a particular location. You can do it anywhere by ‘continually offering up a sacrifice of praise…the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.’ (Hebrews 13:15 NASB) At home, on the job, in the supermarket, at the gym, in the classroom, your everyday activities can become a ‘spiritual sacrifice acceptable to God.’ (1 Peter 2:5 NASB) By sharing a word of encouragement, giving of your resources to help someone in need, or making a professional decision based on integrity instead of what’s popular, you’re honouring God.
Jesus said, ‘Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.’ (Matthew 5:16 NIV) One author says: ‘The Lord is my boss. He gives me reviews, critiques, promotions, and demotions. He provides my benefit plan and my health insurance. He can transfer me… change my responsibilities… develop all my goals and objectives. I report to Him alone… While my tasks change, my essential job doesn’t. I’m instructed to do His work and be His hands and feet in whatever position He assigns me.’
SoulFood: Ezek 40:10–42:20, Matt 24:15–25, Ps 78:17–31, Pro 20:15–19
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright 2023