Summary: If you trade your ALTAR for a VINEYARD, it will rob you of all the blessings of God, the safety under God’s umbrella of protection, and an eternal home with the Heavenly Father.
An Altar or a Vineyard? Gen. 8:20, 9:20
And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord.
9:20 And Noah began to be a husbandman, and he planted a vineyard.
These two verses bring a stark contrast to our attention:
1. In one text: Noah built an altar and saved his family
2. In the other: he built a vineyard, turned toward financial success and earthly comfort, and fell into such disgusting sin that before the damage could be stopped, one son’s view became irreparable.
So these contrasting texts bring a question to everyone in this congregation:
What are you building? Are you building AN ALTAR OR A VINEYARD?
Illust: Story is told of a pastor many years ago in PA who believed strongly in the Family Altar. His daughter came home one day from the public school to announce that she had taken her first dance instruction.
Lunch was ready, but before a bite was taken, that father gathered his family together and they prayed. When done, he stated that his daughter had taken her first and last dance lesson, and then headed to the school to meet the principal. He was told it was part of the curriculum and that his minority view was not sufficient enough voice to altar the curriculum, and that his child was no better than any other children and should not expect favored treatment.
He then went to the school board. He was told that no other member of the clergy had complained. And then was finally told that he should consider enrolling his daughter in a school in a slum area that did not have a dance program because of their insufficient facilities.
This pastor, this father, then let it be known in the community that either the school board would respect the conscientious convictions of the family and assign his daughter to another study, excusing her from all dancing lessons, or he would mortgage every stick of property he owned and move his family from such a godless community.
This father fought for his family, the same way Noah fought for his, and in doing so, saved his family from the terrible flood.
In Gen. 6 taken out of the following three verses: 6, 18, 22
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord… and God said unto Noah… with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou and thy sons, and they wife, and they sons’s wives with thee….Thus Noah did according to all that God commanded him, so did he.
That’s what it takes to save your family. The building of the ALTAR.
I’m sure it was not easy for Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Their father was thought to be crazy. He stood for and practiced an odd religion that believed it was going to rain enough so that it would send a great flood which would destroy everything.
AND NOAH and his family stuck out like a sore thumb.
Listen: if you build that family altar, you too will stick out in your community.
Your Family will know it
Your Neighbors will know it
Your Church will know it.
And as a result of Noah’s perseverance, his family benefited from the most valued of all possessions: A Man’s Faith.
Heb. 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.