Altars to God
“Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it for the LORD, both the morning and evening sacrifices” (Ezra 3.3 NIV).
The remnant of God’s Chosen People are reclaiming their land. They have one mind to rebuild the temple of the LORD, so they begin with building the altar and making sacrifices. The only problem is that everyone around them wants to see the Israelites fail. Their sacrifices provoke rage in people who do not know or honor God, and the last thing these people want to see is smoke filling the skies, symbolizing the flame of faith that has been rekindled in the hearts of God’s people. However, “despite their fear,” God’s people continue in obedience and make sacrifices to the Lord day and night. Today, there is much darkness in our world, and many people do not want to see the light of Christ in us. But God asks us live out our faith on platforms–work, school, home, social media, etc.–surrounded by people who do not know or honor Him. And if we are to claim our land for God, we must not fear the people around us. Though we may be scorned or ridiculed, we can continue to build our lives as altars to God, and allow Him to offer up the ultimate Sacrifice, Jesus, to a world that desperately needs Him.
“The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'” (John 1.29 NLT).