Genesis 12:7 & 8
“Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord.”
Why Build Altars?
It has been said that one could follow the path Abraham followed on his journeys by following the trail of altars that he built. Why did he build so many altars? At least in part these were places he would go to speak to the Lord. However, an altar is not limited to being used by a single individual. Abraham no doubt taught his family, his servants and all those who followed him that they were to pray to the Lord God who brought him out of his home country. The altars were visible reminders to his children, servants and descendants that their heritage was from God Almighty and that he was the only God they were to worship.
Call upon the Lord?
Abraham did not just build altars and walk away. He called upon the name of the Lord at these altars. What could that mean? Prayer & Worship. Abraham prayed to the God who he had a personal relationship with. This was the Living God! The Almighty Holy One! Also, it is likely that this took place publicly such that his family and servants were involved.
And what is that name?
Acts 4:12 “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name [Jesus] under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Church is our modern-day gathering place where we go to worship God. We can worship God in any place, but church is a special place, set aside and dedicated to worshipping God. We should go there often and call upon the Lord. We should also be sure to treat the church with respect for its unique and sacred purpose.