In the Wilderness: Exodus 27:1-8

The altar: Exodus 7:1-8
Open up your Bible or the link above to read the Word.

As it has been shown you on the mountain, so shall it be made.
Exodus 27:8
God’s instruction to Moses continued for the preparation of the tabernacle and its furnishings. God’s dwelling place among His people.
Today, the altar. Eight short verses. I wonder what to do with these.
I go to my favorite commentary to see what he says.

As God intended the tabernacle to manifest his presence among his people, so there they were to pay their devotions to him, not in the tabernacle itself (into that only the priests entered as God’s domestic servants), but in the court before the tabernacle, where, as common subjects, they attended. There an altar was ordered to be set up, to which they must bring their sacrifices, and on which their priests must offer them to God: and this altar was to sanctify their gifts.

–Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible (emphasis added)

 …and this altar was to sanctify their gifts.

This altar with fire below. Burning. Purifying. The gifts brought before God.

And I think about all we bring. Our prayers. Our presence. Our gifts. Our service. Our witness. All need be sanctified by His altar of grace.

Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice of Himself to make our gifts, our lives, our service, acceptable before the Father. We cannot bring our gifts apart from His grace and expect to be received.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’…”
Matthew 7:21-23 ESV
We cannot serve Him our way. We must serve through the sanctification of the Holy Spirit. The Fire set upon the church at Pentecost.
We are called to lay our gifts on His altar. Let them be sanctified by His sacrifice and then used at the direction of the Holy Spirit. As God shows us by His Spirit, so shall we serve.
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:1-2 ESV
In the surrendering our lives. Laying them down on the altar of sacrifice, we begin to see what God’s will is. What is good, acceptable, and perfect to Him.
Only by the power of the Holy Spirit are we sanctified to be the servants God intends us to be. Only by following the direction of the Holy Spirit are we able to come to know His purpose for our lives.
Have you laid yourself on His altar of grace? along with all you have to give?
Have you invited the Holy Spirit to sanctify you? through conviction? obedience?
Followers of Jesus lay down their lives on the altar of grace He’s prepared and allow His Spirit to sanctify us through and through for His service.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God…
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2Timothy 1:6-7 ESV
Lord, sanctify me by the power of Your Holy Spirit.

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