Bahamas. Bermuda. Barcelona. Bora Bora. Bondi. Besides the fact that these places all start with ‘B’, what else do they have in common? If you had a vacation at any one of these places, you would have no difficulty remembering the beach.
Try this one. What do these places have in common? Sycamore tree. Damascus Road. Philippian Jail. Desert Highway to Ethiopia. Tax Office Desk. There are Bible characters in Heaven right now who would have no difficulty answering that question. These places are landmarks where individuals were wonderfully saved and started for Heaven. Do you have a landmark that’s precious to you for the same reason? Could you take a friend to the place where it happened?
Here’s another one: Shechem. Bethel. Hebron. Moriah. These locations are special to one man and to God. Abraham established altars at these places where he did deep business with God. Spiritual transactions. Altars of communion, worship and sacrifice.
Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh….
He built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:7
From there he moved to … Bethel and pitched his tent, and there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. Genesis 12:8
So Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had….. And he journeyed on from the Negeb as far as Bethel to the place where his tent had been at the beginning… to the place where he had made an altar at the first. And there Abram called upon the name of the LORD. Genesis 13:1-4
So Abram moved his tent and came and settled by the oaks of Mamre, which are at Hebron, and there he built an altar to the LORD. Genesis 13:18
Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So, they went both of them together. When they came to the place [Moriah] of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.” Genesis 22:9
Abraham was known as not only a man of faith but a friend of God. He didn’t blindly trust God. He trusted God because he knew God and God was real to him. Communion with the Lord was his priority everywhere he lived – even if it involved tears. As soon as he set-up camp during his travels, his priority would be getting an altar built.
If you were a pagan living nearby, every day you would see a man kneeling near his tent at an altar. It was an essential part of Abraham’s life – communion with the Lord. Without it, how could he ever survive or be confident about the future! One sad exception where the altar was absent from his life was down in Egypt – when he was away from the Lord.
Do I have real communications with the Lord each day? Am I enjoying a real relationship with Him or am I going through the motions or not even doing that? What about you? Do you have a personal altar where you get alone with God in quietness and pour out your heart and your thoughts to Him and worship Him? If you are a parent, do you have a family-altar? Is gathering your family together to read the Bible and to pray a part of your daily routines? Will your children have such memories?
Do you have landmarks where you have enjoyed personal communion with the Lord – special spots where you had dealings with God? Do you have locations where you did heart-wrenching business with the Lord? Do your daily routines include the altar-time? Is there a place in your home where you meet with the Lord each day? Which chair? Show me.
If I am having problems trusting God, maybe it’s because I don’t know Him as well as I should.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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