"Then build an altar to the LORD your God here on this hilltop sanctuary, laying the stones carefully. Sacrifice the bull as a burnt offering on the altar, using as fuel the wood of the Asherah pole you cut down.”
In Judges 6:26, God called Gideon to destroy the altar to the false gods Baal and Asherah and build an altar to the One, True God where worship would take place and where sacrifices were to be be made in atonement for the sins of the Israelites.
The altar was to be:
1. well-constructed, built intentionally, in an orderly manner
2. built on the highest hill, the stronghold in the city
3. used as a table for sacrifices pleasing to God fueled by the wood of the torn down Asherah pole.
We are no longer called to make animal sacrifices to atone for our sins, for God Himself in the person of Jesus Christ took on our sins and sacrificed Himself for us - once, for all. However, we are still called to build an altar to the Lord our God today.
1. He calls us to thoughtfully apply the teachings of the Bible to our lives, with each decision, word, each thought we have. Bit by bit we construct an altar by placing ‘stones of obedience’ on top of each other.
2. We are to make this altar of worship our focus, our highest priority, allowing its structure to be visible, so others may see and desire to know the God to Whom it’s built.
3. The Lord instructs us to cut down and burn the images of the false gods we worship turning our selfish desires, our will, our “rights”, our pride to ashes.
4. Then we are called to place our lives on that altar table, surrendering ourselves in total commitment to God.
Building an altar to the Lord is a daily activity and takes a lifetime. As we allow His work in our lives, we become transformed, loving less of this world and ourselves, loving more of Him. This indeed will be “a fragrant offering and sacrifice” pleasing to Him.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Romans 12:1).
-Kathi Fritz (a contributing member of the Crown of Beauty community)