‘From there he went on toward 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
If anybody were to follow Abraham, a unique pattern emerging from the great journeys he undertook would certainly catch their attention. Abraham can be seen building altars at specific places where he had memorable spiritual experiences. When he left Haran at the age of 75 years and headed towards Canaan along with Sarah his wife and Lot, his nephew, God appeared to him and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built an altar to the LORD. Again when he came to the hills east of Bethel, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east, he built an altar and called upon the name of the LORD. When famine struck the land, he moved to Egypt and after a short stay moved back to the Negev and came to the place between Bethel and Ai where he had first built an altar. Here again he calls on the name of the LORD. After Lot separated from him, Abraham went to live at Hebron where he built an altar to the LORD.
His entire faith journey seems punctuated with altars. Be it thanksgiving for a promise graciously given or a yearning to trust the Almighty, be it to worship and praise God for his sovereignty over the impossibilities looming large over his life or a sign of total surrender to the Master’s plans, be it relying on God to guide his future steps in a trackless wilderness or renewing his hope that God will make a way where there seems to be no way, Abraham was always found following the Great I Am no matter where it took him.
If anybody were to examine us at close quarters, what unique pattern would emerge from our journey with God? Would they find us erecting altars of praise and worship, of humble surrender, of passionate devotion that holds back nothing from the Great I Am, of quiet submission and reverent faith. Would our life be an encouragement to them and an example worth following?
Prayer – “Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for teaching me this important truth. I pray may my life be an encouragement to others and my devotion to you be an example worth following. Help me be faithful to you. Amen.”
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