church worship

Evolution of the Altar 5: Carelessness towards the Altar

Let us once again enter into the Temple made from the pattern of the tabernacle that was made from what was shown to Moses on Mount Sinai. Years have passed since God?s commandment on how He is to be worshiped. Years have passed since Nadab and Abihu?s sin of the strange fire, doing that which God had ?commanded not?. Years have passed since Jeroboam?s sin of degrading what God had commanded concerning the altar to convenience by setting up worship centers in the North. If we recall, there was also a certain King Ahaz who set up two altars in the Temple, one based off of man?s pattern, offering a choice to the approach to God.

In this temple that we enter we may quickly note some things. It is not as glorious as the temple of Solomon?s day but it is also imageless. Some years have passed since Israel had polluted the land with their idolatry, eventually getting sacked by the Assyrians and subsequently the Babylonians. Some years have passed since Cyrus? mandate to rebuild the temple and here we are, sacrifices are being offered up and the priests are doing their duty. From this distance in the outer courtyard, everything is as it should be. Israel has learned his lesson and now is worshipping as he should.

Yet, as is often the case with appearances, there is something wrong that we cannot see from this distance.