Ark First, Altar Next

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June 22, 2016 by pastorjdo3

Noah built an altar to the LORD.
He then took some of every kind of clean animal
and clean bird and offered burnt offerings of the altar. 
And the LORD smelled the soothing aroma
and said to himself, “I will never curse the ground
because of mankind, even though the inclination
of their minds is evil from childhood on. 
I will never destroy everything that lives, as I have just done. 
Genesis 8:20-21


As we continue to look into worship and offering, we look at Genesis the 8th chapter which displays Noah’s worship and offering to the LORD.  Noah and his family were chosen by the LORD to serve as the carriers of righteousness for mankind on the earth.  As the LORD became disgusted with mankind, Noah found favor with the LORD by walking with Him and being obedient to Him.  In addition, God spared Noah’s family from ruin, though it was the relationship Noah had that God cherished.  God chose Noah’s family to be the seed family to bring about a right relationship with the LORD!

noahs-ark.pngWe were inspired and instructed by the actions of the passage, in that God did so much for Noah’s family.  He chose them, saved them, spared them, released them,  instructed them, and delivered them, and then prospered them all in one breath, but key to the passage is verse 20, which reads “Noah built an altar to the LORD.”




Both were built by his hands, but one was built out of obedience
and the other by from his heart!

I love that the verse reads “Noah built!”   I find it fascinating because he was responding not to God’s command, but to His Relationship with God, God’s Love and the Favor shown toward his family.   Noah after watching the world destroyed, emerged from the Ark that God instructed him to build, and his first act was to build an Altar!   An important point; He was not instructed to build the Altar!  God had been instructing Noah every step of the way, but in this moment, Noah looked inside and considered a way to both honor and give thanks to the LORD!  After seeing a combination of His compassion and His Power, Noah took the resources that had been saved and gave them back to Him.  

It’s not the first offering, but the first offering on an altar!

I also love that this is the first mention of an Altar.  Though we know both Cain and Able offered unto the Lord, we see that Noah makes a place to offer unto the Lord an offering to show forth his thanks.  He conceived in his mind a space and a place that would serve the purpose of his heart; to worship the LORD!  Even Enoch whom God took away didn’t have an Altar.  In my mind, Noah as he had built the Ark, sat down and began to craft from the earth.  His mind considered all He thought to do, and he created a holy place upon which he would speak with the Lord and display to him the love that existed in his heart.

I asked myself and the group, have you built an Altar?   What has been conceived in your heart and created by your hands to express your love and thanks to the LORD?  What place has been designed and designated?  The truth told, most of us have set aside nothing, designated nothing, designed anything, expressed anything for the LORD.

The Altar wasn’t just for the LORD, it was for Noah!

This Altar was a personal place, much like the private space God set aside for Noah and His family to survive the flood.  It to him was a constant reminder of what God had done for them.  I believe it also brought him back to the place where he first emerged from the waters (that would preach).  When he would find a reason to complain, this altar would help him to refrain his words.  When he felt alone, the altar would remind him that He was under the care of a watchful eye, and comforting hands.  When he considered his problems, struggles and tendencies, the altar would remind him that He was admired by one and elevated among others, set aside for a higher calling, and brought out from the center of sins den to bring about change upon the earth suitable for the King of Kings.

The Sacrifice was Though Filled, Not Random!

Lastly, Noah not only thought of the Altar, he considered the sacrifice.  He was careful to choose animals that were clean animals and clean birds.   They could have represented the clean start God was giving to mankind through Noah, or they could have represented the purity and holiness he found in God.  Though no specific sacrifice was required, Noah’s desire to please the Lord lead him to sacrifice a variety of things.  Not just one thing.  Not just one portion.  Noah sacrifice some of many things to please the LORD!

We must do the same.  What have you sacrificed?  What have you laid on the altar before the LORD?  What things have you placed before the LORD to get His attention?  What has been given up or given back to the LORD to display your thanks to Him for His protection and provision?  How much thought have you put into your sacrifice?


God was Pleased with Noah

The smell of the sacrifice reached the nostrils of the LORD and He was so pleased that he noahsaltarmade a decree!  What reaction does your sacrifice cause?  Noah’s sacrifice was so pleasing that God decided never to destroy all living things again in that fashion.  Never again would the earth be wiped clean like a dry erase board!  God, fully aware that mankind would still have thoughts of evil and commit atrocities against Him, decided from the actions of Noah, His servant, that he would restrain himself from destroying His creation again.  All this from a sacrifice!

Our sacrifice can affect God and can impact others!  He also considered the damage done to His earth, and decided that the seasons would always exist, and that the earth would remain productive even if it experienced moments of hardship!  He let Noah know that the earth would continue to be a place that would produce for him and for others.  Why?  Maybe the notion of giving back some of what was given touched God so, that He provided a way for Noah and others to always come back to Him to sacrifice and to renew their relationship with God, spending time with Him.   Noah offering would impact generations to come.  His thoughtfulness and thankfulness would keep back the LORD’s hand and wrath upon the earth.  What is your offering doing?



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