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  • Writer's pictureAlan Fong

Jacob's Altar

Today’s Verse:

And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. ~Genesis 35:3


One of the essentials for a strong spiritual life is a daily walk with God. A daily walk with God involves spending an allocated time in the Word of God and in prayer. Jacob had many problems in his life and family due to having neglected a place and time in which he would meet with God. He thought back to when he first met God at Bethel. Bethel means “the house of God.” There, he met with God for the first time and his life was changed. As we start a New Year, we want to consider the reasons for and benefits of establishing a personal altar, or a devotional time with the Lord.

There is the significance of an altar.

The altar was a place where man met with God and God met with man. It was identified as a place where the heart and soul of the person was dedicated to the worship of God and prayer. The altar was where sacrifices were burned to reflect a person’s love for the Lord. An altar is a place set apart for a daily time with God. The altar is the place where the spiritual life of a man is made. Show me a man’s altar and I will show you what kind of man he is.

There is the solitariness of an altar.

An altar was where a man would spend solitary time with the Lord. This would be one-on-one fellowship between a man and God. It was an isolated time set aside to glorify the God Who is our Redeemer. It would also be a place where he would lead his family in the worship of God. It would not involve corporate worship with a community of believers. It was a place for solitary fellowship with God.

There is the spectacular of an altar.

Jacob spoke of the altar as being the place where God answered him in the day of distress and was with him in the way in which he went. The altar is where God lifts our burdens. It is the place where He gives us guidance. It is where we are given the green light and the red light. It is the place where power is bestowed. It is the place where prayer is answered. It is the place where our inward man is renewed day by day. It is a spectacular place.

There is the searching at an altar.

An altar is the place where we allow God to search us and reveal the things about us that we need to know. It is where a man is expected to be transparent with God, and God holds nothing back in what He tells the man. The altar is the place where the dross of sin is burned up. It is the place where the strongholds in our life are brought captive to the obedience of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is the place where pride is broken down and humility is adorned. It is the place where we “put off the old man" and "put on the new man.”

There is the stimulation from an altar.

The altar is where our spirit is moved to do something for the Lord. We desire to draw closer to Him. We desire to do His will. We yield everything about us to Him. It is there where the Lord lays the salvation need of someone we love and know on our heart. It is there where a vision for the work of God is originated. It is there where God places on our heart the one thing that we need to do for His glory.

As the New Year begins, establish an altar that identifies the place where you meet with God and God meets with you.

Have a God-filled God Morning!

Bible Reading Schedule: Genesis 8-11

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