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. ~1 Kings 18:30
When you are in major trouble, you are relieved and glad to get out of this. We refer to this as getting out of a fix. The word “fix” also has the idea of repairing and restoring. King Ahab made an unholy alliance when he married Jezebel of Zidon. Through her influence, Baal worship permeated the land of Israel, and all mention and reference to the God of Israel had been removed, torn down, and eradicated. Elijah challenged Ahab and all of Israel to meet him on Mount Carmel to see which God was real.
We see the mistake.
The altar of the Lord was broken down. It was not broken because of weather or over-usage. It was broken down because of neglect and intentional disregard. The altar was recognized as the place where sacrifices would be offered to God. The blood of a bull, goat, or lamb would be poured on that altar. The carcass of the animal would be burnt by fire. The sacrifice represented an offering for sin or the dedication of a person’s life to God. It represented the place of worship and fellowship with God. However, this altar was broken down because someone decided that the altar was no longer important to their faith and walk with God.
We see the motion.
“And Elijah said unto all the people, Come near unto me.” Elijah’s name means “My God is Jehovah.” All of Israel was on that mountain. He commanded everyone to draw near to the place of the altar. The first step in restoring a broken altar is to acknowledge the Lord as God; the next is to come near once again. Draw near unto God, and He will draw near unto you. The farther you are from your altar, the farther you are from God. When you are far away, it’s time to come near to the Lord.
We see the material.
Elijah took twelve stones according to the names of the tribes of Israel, and with the stones built an altar in the name of the Lord. A stone symbolizes Christ, Who is the Rock of our salvation and the Foundation upon which we stand. He is unmovable and the living Stone of our faith. Elijah placed wood on this altar as the material which the fire would burn. Wood is from a tree. This is a reminder of the cross on which our Lord was crucified for our sins. The bullock cut in pieces was the sacrifice. Elijah had much water poured on the altar to further demonstrate God’s power in the moments to follow. Elijah used all the right material for the repair of this altar. The altar should leave no question in anyone’s mind that it is the place where the worshipper will meet with the one true God.
We see the method.
Elijah prayed and asked God to answer by fire. The challenge he issued was for the God that answered by fire to demonstrate that He was the true and living God. The prophets of Baal spent most of the day trying to bring down false fire. Elijah called on the Lord to turn the people’s hearts back to Him. The word for “repair” in Hebrew is the word for “heal.” The people were in need of spiritual healing. Fire burns away dross and impurities. Prayer always precedes God’s power. Prayer is always the doorway to revival and replenishment.
We see the manifestation.
“Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God.” The people saw the power of God at work! Their hearts were turned back to Him.
A broken altar leaves us spiritually sick. A “healed altar” results in a healed life and spiritual fervor. How’s your altar doing? Examine your altar this morning to see if you need to get out of a fix.
Have a fervent God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Samuel 28-31