Summary: What is the Altar a Place for?
Luke 1.5.11 - The Altar
V5- we find them in the days of a terrible king, terrible days on the earth where sin reigned, yet we still find a remnant that feared and followed the Lord.
V6- they were both righteous before God-> they were doing everything right, they were blameless.
V7- yet they were looked upon as lacking, thought of as a reproach b/c Elisabeth had not children.
V8- Still they continued to do the work laid before them (it isn’t time to quit when everything goes against you, it is time to stay the course and plow for the Lord)!
V9- Zacharias’ job was to continually make sure the fire on the altar of God stayed lit (that’s our job too: to continue shining the light of God in a lost and dying world day in and day out).
V10- Even though some thought of him and Elisabeth were a reproach he still had people praying for him (aren’t you glad someone prayed for you in your hour of need?)
V11- now here we have Zacharias doing the job he has been set to do and here the messenger of God stand there beside the altar.
I began to think to myself what is so significant about this altar, what was it a place for?
What is the Altar a place for?
1 The alter is a place for sacrifice (Gen 22.7.9)
• Abraham had already by this point given up almost everything unto the lord: his home, land, family, prestige, comfort.
• Yet God said to him I want more than that: I want to be above all things in your life Abraham.
• Abraham had to make a decision: Do I give God All or do I not.
• We have that same decision to make: Not only does God want our burdens, but God also wants: our family, our friends, our job, our possessions, our wants, our needs, our churches, our hopes, our dreams all placed before Him at the altar.
2 The Altar is a place for worship (Gen 8.20)
• God had just brought Noah through eh darkest time in all of history up to this point, the storms had raged, Judgment had fallen upon all mankind yet Noah had been brought though it all.
• No God had brought Noah though on the other side. ( can you imagine the storms as they floated on the inside of the boat friends that he had had, family that had not believed him all dead, he probably heard their last death screams as they died in the Judgment of God).
• God had brought Noah through the storm however nothing would ever be the same; but nowhe could praise and worship the God of Glory.
• Not only when we are in the storms of this life but also on the other side of those storms we should be at the altar praising God for all that he has done, for all that he isn going to do, and for all that he is doing in our lives. (David bringing back the ark (2 Sam 6.13.14)
3 The Altar is a place of Dedication (Ex 30.1, 6.8)
• Aaron had to continually burn incense every morning and evening upon the altar that took dedication (We have to be dedicated to the Altar of God for ever sending up the incense of our prayer to Him Ps141.1.2).
• I have heard of churches that quit using the Altar and I have seen people fall, times in my own life where I have been distant from God have came from simply moving away from the altar.
• David when in the depth of his sin with Bathsheba, I guarantee you had stopped being dedicated to the Altar.
• I tell you if you are in need of finding help from God you will have to be dedicated to the Altar (we need to be more like Jacob and get a hold on God and just not let go until He blesses us).
• The Priest was to burn the incense continually throughout all generations, so should be showing our dedication to the Lord day in and day out, year in and year out being dedicated to the Lord upon the altar (how long has it been sense you had a true Altar experience?)
• They had to be right with God to have the Blessings of God and the presence of God as well as the protection of God.
4 The Altar is the place of Forgiveness (Lev 1. 1.5)
• If any man (one) comes with the sacrifice (Jesus Christ) voluntarily he will be accepted b/c of the atonement made by Jesus Christ.
• John 3.16 – here tonight you can receive that forgiveness, through the blood of Jesus Christ!