Genesis 13:18 “Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD.”
Everyone worships something or someone.
When I go to the gym, I see mirrors everywhere where many will face and flex.
In the workplace, I’ve seen good people compromise their integrity, lose their morals and sacrifice their families on the altar of a career.
Others chase money. Some seek power. Others will spend their whole life chasing fame.
Some lesser-known altars that you may find people bowing are addictions. The path to addiction is a slippery slope that has many ways in and it is my experience there is only one path to true victory. There is no victory in stopping the addiction if your life is free of the bonds that once held you.
Abram came to build the altar in our passage because his heart seemed to overflow with praise for God’s provision, protection, and guidance. He saw his relationship with God as personal. Later we find where this relationship stemmed from:
Genesis 15:6 “And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”
This was confirmed in the New Testament:
James 2:23 “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
It seemed Abram needed a place. A specific place. A seemingly private place. A place where he could focus solely on God. It was in this place that he met with God.
After the war to recover Lot from capture, he was met by the king of Salem, Melchizedek; the high priest of God. Throughout the Bible, no other high priest was king and no other king was high priest. Only Jesus Christ could ever be called King of Kings and the ultimate High Priest.
He worshipped by giving his tithe. Our giving is worship.
God is worshipped in song. When He is the main focus of the message that is sung and those who hear are turned to see Him high and lifted up; that is worship.
Hearing the Word of God preached is worship. Jesus said:
John 4:21-24 “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
“Must” worship him in spirit and in truth. Only born-again, Bible-believing children of God can worship Him. Reason being, when we are saved, our spirit comes alive. Prior to that, my spirit was dead.
The transformation that took place in me when I placed my faith and trust in the blood of Jesus Christ to save me, was markedly different. Where I read the Bible before I was saved, much was so foreign to me. But, after salvation, My eyes were opened and I could see much differently.
I was indwelt with the Holy Spirit of God. He has led and will continue to lead until I come to Heaven.
John 16:13 “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”
True worship begins as a personal relationship with God. All other worship stems from that relationship and without it cannot be true worship. I am not saying we cannot worship as a congregation, in song, in our giving or in our service to Him.
We see the world bow down to many altars. We as children of God should bow first and foremost to the altar that brings me in close, personal relationship with my God. Then, as we gather as the church, we worship in song, in praise, in giving, and in the preaching and teaching of God’s Word.
We, as children of God, should never forsake that altar of personal and private worship. It is so easy to let it slip. Miss a day and pretty soon it is a week since we’ve bowed before Him.
He is all-together worthy of our worship, our praise, our prayers and our fellowship with Him. When we do, everything else seems to be more palatable because I know that He is with me every step of the way!