Post 86 / The Next Language
April 19, 2022
And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him. [Gen 12:7 KJV]
The first order of business when Abraham arrived in the promised land was to build an altar. He built altars from one end of the land to the other and in every case but two he used those occasions to “call upon the Name of the Lord.” Did this altar reflect the complete knowledge of God? Of course not. Nor did the tabernacle or even the Temple where God eventually dwelt. f they had been complete and perfect vehicles of the knowledge of God the Jews would have recognized God when Jesus walked in the door.
About 400 years after Abraham, when Moses was counseled by God to challenge Pharaoh, God made reference to Abraham’s incomplete knowledge of God. In Ex. 6:3 God said, “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” Through the mighty acts of the Exodus God was about to show both His people and the surrounding nations another aspect of just who He was. Did that nullify those small altar building beginnings that Abraham had with God? Of course not- in fact it is directly where Paul goes to establish the concept of simple, blind and pre Jewish faith in his epistles.
Are the simple concepts of the Story of Jesus to be mocked in the big scheme? No -they become bridges between the unreached cultures and the kingdom building partners who baptize, and disciple, and complete the great commission and ultimately the completion of the age.
Those altars were more than a visible object lesson involving monument building with local artifacts and smoke and blood sacrifice. They were an enduring testimony to God’s promises and one man’s conversation with God- visible to all for generations to come.
Somewhat equivalent is the act of planting flags when countries are occupied by aliens. It was said that the sun never set on the Union Jack as it flew over British colonies around the world. It was a statement of some degree of ownership.
I think that Abraham’s altars teach us that altar building is far more than flag waving. An altar is tied to a promise. It is tied to sacrificial obedience. It is tied to personal communion with Almighty God. It is a tangible testimony to the purposes of God and the submission of man and the final state of Kingdom affairs.
The altars also marked a transition from family tribalism to nationhood; from individual worship of God to corporate worship and to the tangible presence of God evidenced in the Tabernacle in the wilderness as the tribes of Israel redeemed from slavery were molded into a “holy nation and a royal priesthood” (Exodus 19:6).
As the Israelites returned to claim the promised land I am quite sure they could still see those stone altars that were witnesses to the faith of their father Abraham and to God’s promises and intentions.
In many respects I believe that our recordings become a perpetual witness to generations of people groups of the faithfulness and intentions of God and the responsibility of men to walk in obedience.
By both Jesus’ command to go to the end of the earth (or age) and the insight in Revelation 5:9 that there will be around the throne “some from every kindred, and tongue, and tribe, and nation,” God’s intentions are no secret. Nor was His simple command to “preach the Gospel.” In the progression toward that final day and state of affairs I believe that God’s purposes are honored when we plant the Gospel in those places. Those Gospel witnesses may precede any visible evidence of eternal possession — as did father Abraham’s altars — but they function as pointers to the Eternal Kingdom to come and a testimony of faith and witness ever present.
With time those original Gospel seeds transition to flourishing Churches just as the lonely isolated altars in the promised land eventually transitioned into the Tabernacle and the temple system of worship and the eventual ownership of the land.
Just because a particular “tongue” already has a church should not be a disincentive to establishing a witness for generations to come of Jesus’ invitation. How many places do we find centuries old “Christian” traditions where a personal Jesus is unexperienced today. It has been said that a vibrant living Church is only one generation from extinction. The timeless Gospel stands over time and calls to all.
Some of our recordings have been witness to the story of Jesus now for over eighty years. Those monuments to Truth teach us that there should be no space in the span of human existence where that Truth is not heard in perpetuity. Those altars planted in faith will produce eternal fruit until the end of the age.
And the absence of those altars also speaks to our own faithlessness and disobedience.
Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director
Global Recordings Network USA
If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general, please contact RolandHeck@GlobalRecordings.Net