Presentation on theme: "Abraham’s Altars Altars for Worship Played an Important Role in the life of Abraham One man wrote that Abra- ham’s paths in life could be traced by the."— Presentation transcript:
Abraham’s Altars Altars for Worship Played an Important Role in the life of Abraham One man wrote that Abra- ham’s paths in life could be traced by the altars he built. Another said: “It is often said of Abraham and the patriarchs that they built altars to the Lord; it is never said they build houses for themselves.”
In our lesson today we want to discover a lesson that can be learned from Abraham’s altars. The Meaning and Purpose of Altars 1. “A place of slaughter; center of family worship during the patriarchal age.” 2. A place of sacrifice and devotion to God. 3. Altars are first mentioned in Gen. 8:20, where the reference is to the altar used by Noah to offer a sacrifice to God after the flood. a. However, Cain and Abel are likely to have used altars in their sacrifice, Gen. 4:3,4.
b. The phrase, “Then men began to call on the name of the Lord” (Gen. 4:26), prob- ably refers to worship by means of sac- rifices being made on an altar. c. Gen. 13:4 – “…to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the Lord.” d. Gen. 21:33 – “…and there called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God.”
e. In the N.T. “calling upon the name of the Lord” signifies complying with the direc- tions of God in worship and obedience. f. Rom. 10:13 – “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” g. Acts 22:16 – “Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.”
Abraham’s Altars Abraham’s Call 1. Gen. 12:1-3 – “Get our of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
Abraham Arrives in Shechem Gen. 12:6,7 – “ Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land. Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ And there he built an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”
Abraham Moves to Between Bethel and Ai Gen. 12:8 -- “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.” Return to Bethel and Ai After Egypt Gen. 13:3,4 – “ And he went on his journey from the South as far as Bethel, to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai, to the place of the altar which he had made there at first. And there Abram called on the name of the LORD.”
Abraham Moves to Hebron Gen. 13:18 – “Then Abram moved his tent, and went and dwelt by the terebinth trees of Mamre, which are in Hebron, and built an altar there to the LORD.” Abraham Builds an Altar at Moriah Gen. 22:1-14 – “ Now it came to pass after these things that God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ Then He said, ‘Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.” So Abraham rose early in the
morning and saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he split the wood for the burnt offering, and arose and went to the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the £ lad and I will go yonder and worship, and we will come back to you.” So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together. But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” Then he said, “Look, the fire and the wood, but where is the
lamb for a burnt offering?’ And Abraham said, ‘My son, God will provide.’ So the two of them went together. Then they came to the place of which God had told him. And Abraham built an altar there and placed the wood in order; and he bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the Angel of the LORD called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ So he said, ‘Here I am.’ And He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’ Then Abraham
lifted his eyes and looked, and there behind him was a ram caught in a thicket by its horns. So Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up for a burnt offering instead of his son. And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, ‘In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.’” 1. Abraham arose early in the next day to depart on his journey to the land of Moriah. 2. After his two day journey Abraham saw the place afar off where God wanted him to make the sacrifice. 3. And, upon arriving at the place, “Abraham built an alter there,” preparing to offer Isaac.
4. Then he was instructed by the Angel of the Lord not offer Isaac as the sacrifice, and, instead, found a ram caught in a nearby thicket which he used. Abraham: A Man of Great Faithfulness Heb. 11:8-10 – “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.”
Rom. 4:1-2 – “What then shall we say that Abra- ham our father has found according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” ’ But, There Are Two Blemishes to His Record When he went down into Egypt he lied to the Pharaoh about his wife, Sarah, leaving the impression that she was only his sister. (Gen. 12:10-20)
The other time was twenty years later when he committed an almost identical sin while living in Gerar, allowing Abimelech, the king of that city, to believe that Sarah was his sister and causing him to take Sarah for his wife. (Gen. 20:1-17). What Was Different These Two Times? It is significant that on these two occasions, in spite of the fact that Abraham built an altar to worship God in every other in every other place he went, there is no mention of his building an altar to worship God either in Egypt or in Gerar.
1. Abraham did later build an altar at Beer- sheeba, near Gerar, but not until after he had lied to Abimelech. 2. This was following a covenant made between Abraham and Abimelech as the result of a dispute over a well. No Altars Seems to Equal Problems Were Abraham and his family worshiping God during there stay in these places? Look at the Circumstances
On both occasions he was living among strangers where he had reason to fear for his safety, and, thus, may have wanted not to make a point of worshiping God. He paid a high price for this failure. What Is The Lesson For Us? The Devil is always looking for an opportunity to hurl his fiery darts at us. 1. 1 Pet. 5:8 – “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”
2. Eph. 6:14-16 – “Stand therefore, having gird- ed your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.” As it was when the devil tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he seeks an opportunity to tempt us when we are at our weakest moments. 1. Perhaps when we are neglect worshiping God.
2. Maybe it will be when we are having a lot of trials and are burdened with stress. 3. Or, will it be when we are discouraged or unhappy about something? 4. Could it be when someone has mistreated us? 5. The devil will look for any crack or crevice in our armor through which he can hurl his fiery dart to tempt us, as he did Abraham.
We are probably at our weakest point and most liable to being tempted when we, like Abraham, have failed to build an altar and are neglecting to worship God. 1. When we have left the altar of reading and meditating on His word. 2. When we have neglected the altar of meeting together with the saints to worship God? 3. When we have neglected the altar of prayer. 4. Could it be when we have neglected to build an altar of private devotion and Bible study?
These are the altars God has given us to protect and strengthen us; we are at our strongest when we are making use of them. CONCLUSION If we follow in the steps of Abraham when he neglected to built altars to worship God, we, too, will find ourselves in trouble. Let’s learn this important lesson from Abraham!