Did God miraculously heal you? Did God save you from a perilous or dangerous situation? Did God rescue you out of a lifestyle that was destructive?

These are reasonable beginnings to a life of faith in Christ Jesus. However, my effort is for us to revisit the "altars", the trophies or memorials of God in our lives.

Altars in and of themselves are structures that were built to certain specifications and placed in a specific place for many different uses. Multiple cultures have integrated the use of altars in their society. The Mayans, Incas and Jews are just a select few that we know used altars.

For the Jewish usage of the altar the usual observation is that they dealt with all the many sacrifices brought before the LORD. However, not only was it a place of daily sacrifice, but much more. Consider the following about the Jewish Altar...
  • It was portable (Ex. 27:7)
  • A place of offering (Ex. 29:18) 
  • A place of consecration (Ex. 29:21) 
  • A place of seeking holiness (Ex. 29:37) 
  • A place of personal cleanliness (Ex. 40:32) 
  • A place of death (Lev. 1:11-15) 
  • A place of continual burning (Lev. 6:12-13)
  • A place of atonement (Lev. 17:11) 
  • A place of God’s presence (Judges 13:20) 
  • A place where you can worship the wrong thing (Judges 6:25) 
  • Where oaths are sworn (1 Kings 8:31) 
  • Where prayers and supplications are made to the LORD (1 Kings 8:54) 
  • Where the altar itself is cried out against (1 Kings 13:2) 
  • It was a place to take from and apply to (Lev. 16:12-13, 46-47)  
  • A place for seeking guidance (2 Kings 16:15)
  • It was a place that is cared for/tended to (Nu. 18:5) 
  • It was a place to worship before (2 Chron. 32:12)
  • Finally, what might be most striking but definitely gets you pondering is that the earthly altars were patterned after a heavenly altar (Isaiah 6:6; Revelation 6:9, 8:3)
But before this version of the altar, men like Noah (Genesis 8:20), Abram (Genesis 12:7), Isaac (Genesis 26:25), Jacob (Genesis 35:1-3), and Moses (Exodus 17:15) all used the altar as memorials to God’s great work in their life at that time. They would experience the intervention of God in their life in some way and then to remember it they would construct an altar and worship The Lord. They typically named or titled the altar to signify the miracle or provision God had granted (i.e. “The LORD is My Banner”Exodus 17:15). And the altar was made from stone not earth. Earth-made altars were for the purpose of sacrifices. Stone-made altars were for the purpose of honoring God. Exodus 20:24-26 is the basis for this idea -
  • "'Make an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and cattle. Whenever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.'"
Men like Jacob, whose name was changed to Israel, took this practice seriously. At every opportunity he built an altar to memorialize God's work in his life. He even decorated his stones when God continued to bless a specific area of his life. This is recorded in Hosea 10:1 -
  • "Israel was a spreading vine; he brought forth fruit for himself. As his fruit increased, he built more altars; as his land prospered, he adorned his sacred stones." 
Now I am not asking anyone to go into their backyards and erect a stone altar to the Lord every time He blesses you. If you build a stone altar for the Lord at all - that is between you and God. However, I do desire to encourage all Believers in Christ to develop a system of remembrance, a plan in our lives that documents and possibly verbalizes to someone the reasons behind "Who You Say HE IS". This system or plan will crystallize in our heart, mind, and soul what we believe about this relationship we began with an invisible God that produces visible results. Your answer to - "Who do you say I am?" - by the testimony of all the altars in your life will fulfill 1 Peter 3:15 - "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,". Altars are a wonderful thing for reflection, a wonderful thing for thanksgiving and a wonderful thing for sharing with others your History Of Altars.