It is so fascinating to see how the people of Israel in the Old Testament periods kept faith with God in terms of raising altars for God so as to remember God and His miracles He did for them, or how He manifested His power or might in saving them from the wrath of their enemies. There are so many altars built in the Old Testament time precisely to keep remembering God’s powers and wonders amongst His people. There is no doubt that the altar Abraham built after gotten the call from God to leave his home and go to where he would be shown by God was altar of remembrance. Abraham built this altar to remember how God appeared to him (Gen. 12: 1 – 4, 7). Abraham had the consciousness that by chance, he could one day visit this altar to remember how God called him out. Raising altars for memorial sake featured in Israeli customs.
Jacob while running away from Esau had encounter with God at Bethel in dream; God promised He would always be with Jacob. For Jacob to remember this encounter often, he built an altar and dedicated it to God as seen in Genesis 28: 10 – 19. After he built the altar and worshipped God, he called the place “Bethel” meaning the place of God. As many times as Jacob remembered the altar, the vision of when God stood in heaven revealing Himself to him would come afresh on his mind. This should be what sighting an altar built and dedicated to God should be; a place of believing that God is here. Christians are to see every altar built for God as the place He resides always. Church altars should be honoured as a place where God is by Christians.
We have so many people in the Old Testament times who raised altar for worshipping God based on their wonderful and miraculous encounter with God. One of such is the altar Joshua raised when God made the Israelites to cross River Jordan on foot, over to the Promises Land. On that fateful day, the River over flooded its bank with very dangerous swift flowing. God asked the Levites to carry the Ark of the Covenant on their heads and step into the River. As this was done, the River parted way and stacked up like a wall. Over 2 million Israelites matched through. Joshua built a memorial altar with twelve stones; each stone represented a tribe of Israel. Christians these days hardly and collectively develop symbols or emblems which will be memorials of God’s faithfulness for them. We must learn this wonderful habit from the Israelites.
HOLY SPIRIT, teach my soul how to raise altars of remembering the wonderful works of God in my life instead of murmuring over things not working as I want in Jesus name.