Keep the Fire Burning!
Thesis: The fire on the altar of our hearts must be kept burning for the Lord.
Text: Lev. 6:8-14
NIV Leviticus 6:8-14
8. The LORD said to Moses:
9. "Give Aaron and his sons this command: `These are the regulations for the burnt offering: The burnt offering is to remain on the altar hearth throughout the night, till morning, and the fire must be kept burning on the altar.
10. The priest shall then put on his linen clothes, with linen undergarments next to his body, and shall remove the ashes of the burnt offering that the fire has consumed on the altar and place them beside the altar.
11. Then he is to take off these clothes and put on others, and carry the ashes outside the camp to a place that is ceremonially clean.
12. The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.
13. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.
Illustration: Thank God one cottage burned!
Years ago a fishing fleet went out from a small harbor on the east coast of Newfoundland. In the afternoon there came a large furious storm. When night settled in not a single fishing vessel of the fleet was in the harbor. All night long the wind blew and thunder blasted. The wives, mothers, children, and sweethearts labored all night in prayer for their loved ones out in the storm. They called on God over and over to save their loved ones. Then to add to the horror of the night one of the house caught fire. Since most of the men where on the storm tossed sea it was impossible to save the house from burning to the ground.
When morning broke, to the joy of all who labored in prayer there was the fleet safe in harbor. Everyone was home safe. Yet, in the joy filled crowd their was one sad face-it was a picture of despair-the wife of the man whose house had burned to the ground. Meeting her husband as he came ashore she rejoiced that he was alive but cried out in anguish, “Honey, we are ruined! Our home and all it’s belongings where destroyed by a fire last night!” But the man looked at her with excitement and exclaimed, “Thank God for the fire” Then all the men around said the same. The woman looked confused then her husband announced “It was the light of our burning house that guided the whole fleet into port!”
Told by Rev. W.W. Weeks
This illustration can be compared to the sacrificial offerings of the O.T. which where offered up for the lives of men/women. This house burned metaphorically as a sacrificial offering which saved the lives of all the men on the fleet. If it had not caught fire and burned the fleet and all it’s men would have been lost.
The surrender of a living creature was a major factor in nearly every kind of sacrificial ritual of the Old Testament.
T.S.- Lets look at the 5 sacrifices spoken of in Leviticus.
I. The Historical Background of the sacrifices for God in the O.T..