i have a word addiction. always have, and always will. books, articles, lyrics…i love to unpack the meaning behind a writer’s words.
so imagine my wonder when i discovered strong’s concordance. </nerdiness>
one day, i was reading my preschool crew the story of jacob’s ladder. after his vision was over, he erected a pillar. the idea and the symbolism intrigued me, which led me to a word study of altar (the strong’s number is H4196, for those who are cool like that).
some were a place of sacrifice (genesis 8:20, 22:9). some were raised in memorial (genesis 12:7, 13:18, 33:20). they were a place to call upon God (genesis 12:8). a place to return. to remember. some even had a name.
i have quite a few of those places in my life. altars built with pieces of my broken heart: built so i could lay something down and watch through tearful eyes as it burned; altars in those unexpected moments of romance, when God does something that makes my heart skip a beat; altars built on painful memories of the past to remind me that i wasn’t alone. in each one, i am brought to know who He is in a deeper way. anytime i call out His name, i have erected an altar.
i wonder if abraham ever returned to the altar he almost sacrificed issac on? i imagine his response as he recalled it to mind. as he relived those emotions leading right up until he lay down his son. as he raised his knife, knowing that God’s promises are real. real enough that he believed God would raise his son from the dead (hebrews 11:17-19). it was an altar to remind abraham of God’s faithfulness. how He provided a ram in replacement of his son: the son of God’s promise. imagine how abraham’s heart must have flooded with thanks and praise and love every time he returned to that place…he knew the word of God was Truth.
i call this blog an altar for all these reasons. every time i look back, every time i reflect…i am either returning to an altar i’ve raised up, or have found opportunity to erect a new one. all for His glory.
it’s a scared opportunity.
do you have any altars?