A Short Study on Altars

The Very First Altar

According to the King James Bible, the very first altar was erected by Noah after the ark came to rest on dry land after the Flood.

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.

Genesis 8:20

How interesting… and FITTING… that the first thing Noah did after making sure every living thing was off the Ark… was to build an altar to give thanks to God for his mercy in what they had just been through. This was worship! It was sacrifice! And it was an offering that cost dearly since there were only seven of every kind of animal on the ark at all.

Costly sacrifices were something that David put great stock in, as a matter of fact. He spoke of this in 2 Samuel 24:24…

And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price; neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

2 Samuel 24:24

The Second Altar

The next time we see an altar in the Scriptures is in Genesis 12:

And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.

Genesis 12:7-8

Like Noah, Abram felt that building an altar to God was of the utmost importance. It would be where he would meet with God, where he would make sacrifices for sins, where he would submit to the desire of the Most High, and where he would worship the One True and Living God.

God had brought Noah through the Flood, where everyone he had ever known, save for his own wife, sons, and daughters-in-law, had been erased from the face of the earth. For Abram, it was a little different. He had been given a promise like no promise ever issued before. And for Abram, that was enough to render unto God what was due Him!

Abram went on to build many more altars to God as well. You can check these Scriptures out when you have time… just follow the links!

  • Genesis 13:4, 18
  • Genesis 22:9 (where he offered up Isaac in obedience to God)
  • Also, Genesis 26:25

Our Own Altars

You can make an altar anywhere!

We have our own altars, too! And we can meet with God, just as the patriarchs did. We can remember Jesus’ sacrifice, made for sin. At our altar, we can submit ourselves as sacrifices of the living sort, and there we can offer the sacrifice of praise:

We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle.

Hebrews 13:10

And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

Ephesians 5:2

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Romans 12:1

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Hebrews 13:15

Don’t Neglect the Altar

Whatever your situation today, don’t neglect your altar. This is your place with God and can be a place where you experience true freedom. Is it a magical place? No. But there’s something about taking your prayers, your heart, and your soul to a designated meeting place just between you and God that truly changes things.

You can utilize the altar at your church, certainly, if there is freedom to do so. But since we only go into the House of God on certain days or for certain occasions, you might not always have that freedom when necessary. Or you may not attend a church that places the same kinds of significance on the altar that the Bible does.

Even if you don’t go to church at all, you can still pray at an altar. Erect one for yourself! It could even be as simple as a lounge chair or couch, or maybe your kitchen counter if you’re unable to get fully down on your knees.

Whatever the place, whatever the circumstance, know that God will reward those that seek Him with their whole heart. And whatever you bring to the altar is strictly between you and God. No matter where you are.

As I close this post today, I’ll leave you with a YouTube video I go to often. It sure blesses my heart and I pray it blesses yours too!

7 Comments

  1. I use three kinds of altars, without focusing on the altar itself: the privacy of my bedroom. Then nature. Nature has its own magic, even in the arid Karoo desert. The best sanctuary isn’t spectacular, it’s just a moment in my own sometimes unkempt heart.

    1. Author

      Those are wonderful altars, Pete. I agree… nature is a perfect place to commune with God!

      1. It stimulates the emotional centre in the basal ganglia to effect a sensation of wellbeing, conducive to calmness and worship.

  2. Girl I agree! 🙌🏼🔥 Altars can be anywhere! For me, they have been in every room of my home, as well as my car, walking, on my back porch, and the actual church altar…This morning it will be at Ladies Prayer meeting at church…I say this because having an altar is so important to us. I agree it doesn’t matter where, but that we draw near to Him and He will draw near to us! He will even get down in the mud with us if need be! (Spiritually speaking and literally)

    This is an awesome post Stacey! May we all build MANY altars to come for our Jesus! 🙌🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼🙏🏼💜

    1. Author

      Thanks, Renee! Amen to everything you said here <3 Being fairly new to the faith, I have literally dissected every aspect of what I read in the Bible... the how's, why's, what-if's, etc., lol. I was looking back through my drafts and realized this one was finished, for the most part! Thank you as always for stopping by and leaving a comment. May we always draw near to HIM, no matter the altar! :-)

      1. Keep staying hungry and thirsty for more of His Word! You shall be filled— with His wisdom and spread it everywhere you go! Praise God!!!

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