Summary: In our churches today we no longer build altars for sacrifice but our altars still are used for some of the same purposes found in the Bible.
The Broken Altar I KINGS 18:21-46
Note Here in Vs 30, “And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me. And all the people came near unto him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that was broken down.”
Elijah found the altar was broken and in need of repair.
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE OF THE ALTAR?
The altar was a sacred place.
Throughout the Old Testament we often read where a person would build an altar and offers a sacrifice, that is, a burnt offering to God.
What does this mean? What was the person doing?
In the simplest of terms, he was either approaching and worshiping God or else seeking something from God.
This became the place where man could approach
to worship God
to thank and praise God
to ask forgiveness for sins
to recommit or rededicate his life
to petition God, that is, ask God for something
In our churches today we no longer build altars for sacrifice but our altars still are used for some of the same purposes found in the Bible.
A. The Altar Is A Place Of Worship
The soul of a mankind has a built in desire for the worship of God.
Without worship the soul of man will never be satisfied.
Psalm 42:1-3 (KJV) As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God? 3 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?
Genesis 8:20 (KJV) 20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
When you look at the scripture we read notice that...
Noah's first concern was not to build a house.
Noah's first concern was not to celebrate with a party.
Noah's first concern was not to map out plans for survival in a
devastated and barren world.
But Noah's first act was to set up a place for worship.
He establish a place for worship: he built an altar!
By the way, this is the very first time the word altar is ever mentioned in the Bible. But this was not the first time that an offering was made.
Offerings began with Adam and Eve, also Cain and Able. From the very beginning of human history offerings were made to God.
Abram also made a decision for God, he made a commitment to continue following after God and His promises. Here in Genesis 12:7, he built an altar to the Lord who had appeared to him.
When you study the life of Abraham, the altar had at least seven purposes:
To offer sacrifices to God, asking forgiveness for unbelief and sins.
To make a rededication to God, renewing his commitment to God.
To seek God's continued presence and guidance.
To worship the Lord: to worship the very Person who had met his need.
To acknowledge the Lord, that the Lord alone could fulfill so great a promise, that he was totally dependent upon the Lord.
To praise the Lord, to praise Him for giving so wonderful a promise.
To testify to the Lord, to bear witness to the Lord's glorious goodness in meeting his need and in giving so great a promise.