2 Samuel 14-15

Luke 17:1-19


“The LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.”        —Genesis 12:7

In the Old Testament, the altar was a place of worship, a sacred space to encounter God and a place of offering, where sacrifices were given to atone for sin. The next person we meet after Noah who built his life on the worship of God was Abraham.

In Genesis 12:1-3, God said to Abram (Abraham’s given name before God changed it in Genesis 17:5), “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” At this, Abram left his country, his family and went to the land that God showed him. When Abram arrived, “he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him” (Genesis 12:7). Even when Abram moved “towards the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD” (Genesis 12:8). Also, in Genesis 13:3-4, “From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD.” After Abram and his nephew Lot went their separate ways, “Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the LORD” (Genesis 13:18).

As we can see, Abraham’s life was characterized by a pattern of worship; wherever Abraham moved, he built an altar and called on the name of the Lord. There were times, however, when Abraham moved and acted without consulting God, and it negatively impacted his life. Nonetheless, Abraham was faithful to God. In the New Testament, the author of Hebrews writes, “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going” (Hebrews 11:8). Abraham’s faithfulness and obedience was a result of his worship of God.

Like Abraham, is our life characterized by a pattern of worship? Before any decision we make for our family, our career or our future, do we go before the altar of God in worship as we seek His counsel and His advice?

Dear God, I want my life to be characterized by a pattern of worship. In the many decisions that I make, I want it to be found in Your will. Thank You, Lord.

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