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Archive for January 21st, 2012

Days of Praise

Altar Building

January 20, 2012

“And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded

he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. (Genesis 12:7)

This is the first reference to Abraham building an altar in Scripture. Building an altar and making sacrifice to God denotes total dependence and reliance on Him. It implies saying no to self and yes to God–in effect presenting one’s self in submission to God as a sinner, trusting Him for gracious handling of one’s sin, and discounting one’s value apart from His work. Building altars became a habit with godly Abraham, the “Friend of God” (James 2:23), and he practiced it many times during his life (see also Genesis 12:8; 13:4, 18).

 We can surmise that at an early age, Abraham’s son, Isaac, was taught this same practice. It doesn’t seem that Isaac misunderstood or debated the situation, even when he himself was identified as the sacrifice to be slaughtered (Genesis 22:9). He fully trusted and worshiped the same God, and evidently agreed with Abraham’s obedient act. Later, Isaac, himself, practiced altar-building at least once on his own (26:25).
 Compare Abraham and his family to Lot and his family. Nowhere in Scripture does it say that Lot built an altar and recognized God as worthy of worship. No doubt as a direct result, Lot’s wife, sons, and daughters totally rejected these ideas, preferring the sinful practices and mentality of Sodom. Lot was a true believer (2 Peter 2:7-8), but his lifestyle and lack of “altar-building” rubbed off on his family, to the detriment of himself and the people of God ever since.
 Here is the question: Do we want to be Christians who ignore proper worship and total submission to God and have families who do likewise? We don’t build physical altars today, but we do need daily times of family prayer.
JDM
 Institute for Creation Research| 1806 Royal Lane | Dallas | TX | 75229

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   January 18


Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. (John 17:5)

I think it is quite clear that the Lord Jesus carried in His heart a great longing and a prayer for the glory that He once had. This is where I think John touches this matter very closely. In the seventeenth chapter of his gospel, he records that great prayer of the Lord Jesus: “Father, glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was” (vs. 5). That opens a window and lets us see that the Lord Jesus had a consciousness of His eternal glory past. He carried it with Him; He knew about it – marvelous thought! – and that the consciousness of that former glory was ever prompting Him to pray toward, long toward, the day when He would return to it and it would return to Him. “Father, glorify Thou Me with the glory which I had with Thee before the world was.”

The Mount of Transfiguration had become an answer to His heart’s prayer and cry and longing – at least a touch of it. A fleeting touch, but for Him it was one of those things which perhaps you know a little about in your Christian life. The Lord just does something – it passes, but you know by it that you have been heard; you know that there is sympathy in the Father’s heart for your need and situation. It may only last for a day, or a night, for an hour, or for a little while, and then pass, because the end of the road is not yet; the eternal glory has not yet come; but the touch by the way is something that carries us on. We know the Lord has heard; we know the Lord has taken account of that inner cry and longing, and has given us a token of His sympathy. It was like that with the Lord Jesus – the answer to His own cry.

By T. Austin-Sparks from: Men Whose Eyes Have Seen the King – Chapter 1 

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