1 Kings 18: 30-39Altars are places of worship and they are places of WAR!
30 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down. 31 Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” 32 With the stones he built an altar in the name of the Lord, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. 33 He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.”
34 “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again.
“Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. 35 The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench.
36 At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. 37 Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.”
38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.
39 When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!”
Altars are places where battles are fought, won or lost.
Altars are places where mysteries are invoked and destinies impacted.
Altars are not just symbolic they are definitive- they determine outcomes- of life and events.
Altars are places of encounters. In John Chapter 4, the Bible spoke of the Samaritan Woman who was at Jacob’s well in Sychar to fetch water. Much of her life she had known sorrow. Plenty failed marriages and even her current husband was no more than a concubine. She was tired. But it was at the Well of Jacob the symbolic place of worship for all Samaritans since the days when Jacob dug the well that she had her encounter. At the end of that encounter Jesus elevated the life of that woman and solved her sorrow. He gave her limitless access to rivers of living water. Her long nights of loss and sorrows was over. It all happened at an altar- the place where Samaritans worshipped. That day Jesus quenched her thirst permanently. He said to her “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (John 4: 13b and 14)
Altars are places where the promise is unveiled and fulfilled.
In Gen 28 Jacob left Beersheba and went to Haran. When he got to Haran, he slept through the night. God appeared to him in his dream and in an elaborate revelation He shared with him the promise. God said to Jacob “I am the LORD, the God of your grandfather, Abraham. I am the God of Isaac. I will give you the land that you are lying on now. I will give this land to you and to your children. You will have as many descendants as there are particles of dust on the earth. They will spread east and west, north and south. All the families on earth will be blessed because of you and your descendants. “I am with you, and I will protect you everywhere you go. I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done”.
But guess what, brethren, all the while when God made all these life-changing promises Jacob slept. Just so unbelievable- Jacob slept all through the night. I do not understand how a man can use a stone as a pillow and in the midst of such deep encounters slept through the night. He woke up to say “The Lord was in this place but I did not know”. It was not until then that he consecrated Haran as a place of worship and then made a vow. Unfortunately, nothing changed. On that altar throughout the night Jacob slept away his change. I pray for you today dear reader on the day when it matters the most; and on your altar of change may you not sleep the sleep of death. Jacob went from that place to the house of Laban– a superior con man. He cheated him silly. It was first the robbery of a legitimate wife and then that of his labour.
But thank God for a God of second chance. Jacobs’s second chance came on another altar. It was in Peniel on his return back from Laban’s house after multiple unpaid labour. On this second night, he was wide awake. He wrestled with God and with man. He said to the angel of his encounter “I will not let you go unless you bless me”. And he did. On that night, on that altar in Peniel he changed the name of Jacob from “the con man” to Israel “the inheritor of the promise”. It was not until that incident that fruitless labour departed from the life of Jacob. I pray for you today dear reader “May you not sleep away on your altar of change”.
Altars are places of change of name and change of story.
Change does not happen on altars without a fight. There would never be a change of story and a change of name without wrestling like Jacob experienced.
In 1 Kings 18, it had been three and half years since Elijah sealed the heavens because of the idol worship instituted by Ahab and the rebuilding of Jericho. Now, the famine was severe in Samaria. After these years, it was time for Elijah to judge the prophets of Baal and institute a new reign in Israel. It was going to be a contest of the gods and the Living God.It was a contest to prove who really is God and worthy of the worship of men.
Elijah gathered the prophets of baal, four hundred and fifty of them, raised a new altar to the Lord and in one day slaughtered everyone who questioned the authority of the Almighty God. I am praying for you today dear reader, God will judge every single person who is fighting the supremacy of Heaven in the affairs of your life. But do not forget a new altar is required for your fresh victory as you go into this new year. That new altar will enforce a dispensation of loss and judgement for your enemies and enforce a regime of total dominion for you. That new altar is to be erected by a new dispensation of prayers and worship.
Altars are places of worship.
Altars are places of prayers. Get ready for a prayerful 2024 to fully realize the promises of 2024. Don’t sleep away your victories like Jacob initially did.
Happy new year 2024.
It shall a Year of Divine Shift with evident progress and Winning all the ways with Celebrations in Jesus name.
UPDATED: Mon, 1st Jan. 2024 6:47am