Wednesday, March 5, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 75: Opulence, He Has It

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 75, March 5, 2014
Readings: Psalm 75, Exodus 20:18-26, Exodus 21:1-11 Nehemiah 1, Romans 11

Have you been to a cathedral, or another place of worship (to God or some other deity) that is dripping in gold? That is ornate and overwhelming?

When you think of the word altar, what do you envision it looking like? What material is it made of? If the altar was made to God, what would it look like? What form does God have? He's not a sun god, or fertility god, or many of the other gods. So what would it look like?

And the LORD said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the people of Israel: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have talked with you from heaven. You shall not make gods of silver to be with me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. An altar of earth you shall make for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your peace offerings, your sheep and your oxen. In every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. If you make me an altar of stone, you shall not build it of hewn stones, for if you wield your tool on it you profane it. And you shall not go up by steps to my altar, that your nakedness be not exposed on it. (Exodus 20:22-26)

Pretty specific for an altar that's just dirt. But why? What's the meaning behind it? God is asking the Israelites (and us) to remember that His glory, majesty and greatness cannot be contained in something wrought by human hands. A statue, a fancifully carved altar, something made of gold - it's beauty and significance can be attributed to it's maker. It's rarity. It's value.

An altar of dirt or stone? Who made dirt? Who made stone? God alone. In such a simple thing as dirt, God has displayed two facets of His incredible, infinite nature. Only God can make the world. And An infinite God is humble enough to be represented by plain dirt or rocks. He doesn't want you to come before him, bowing because of the opulence and magnificence of the statues or altars created for Him. He wants you to bow because He is. Because He deserves it. Because He is humble enough to give us grace, to love us when we don't deserve it. To leave heaven to rescue us who wallow in the dirt. He is infinite, but he is intimate. 

No comments: