Exodus 20:24-25 An altar of earth thou shalt make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon thy burnt offerings, and thy peace offerings, thy sheep, and thine oxen: in all places where I record my name I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee. And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.
True worship begins with a heart that is completely surrendered; it is the foundation of us worshipping in spirit and truth.
Throughout the scriptures the altar represents the place of sacrificial worship. God instructed Moses to build an altar in Exodus 20:24-25 and there were two things that were permissible to be used. The first is earth; the scripture said in Exodus 20:24 an “altar of earth thou shalt make me”. The significance of earth is that it is breakable. To be fit to offer sacrificial worship your heart must be breakable or easily surrendered to His will. It is for this reason the scripture says in Psalms 51:17, “a broken and a contrite heart thou wilt not despise” or reject.
The second thing that was permissible to be used to build an altar was unhewn or uncut stone. The scripture said specifically “if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone”. Stone could be used to make the altar but the stone could not be cut. Stone here represents the word of God; in offering sacrificial worship it must be done according to His word, which is truth. We cannot add or take away, worship must be in truth.
The scripture ties in well with what Jesus said in John 4:24 they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. An altar of earth allows you to be surrendered so that you can worship in spirit, while an altar of unhewn stone allows you to worship in truth. Both together allow us to worship in spirit and in truth. The scripture started with “make me an altar of earth” because it is possible to find yourself in error of his word; the prerequisite to repent and get back into truth is a heart of earth that is fully surrendered.
Life Application: Cultivate daily a heart that is totally surrendered to God.
Prayer: Lord, I surrender everything to you. I commit to worshiping you in spirit and truth. In Jesus name, amen.