Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Noah and the Altar?  

Question
Why did Noah build an altar when he left the ark?

Quick Answer
Gen 8:20-21 tells us that he built the altar to give thanks to God for saving them from the flood.
Fuller Answer Gen 8:20-21 tells us that he built the altar to give thanks to God for saving them from the flood. As Noah took that step of giving thanks, God too took another step and made the promise that such a scale of a flood would not happen again. It was usual (throughout the Bible and Eastern world at that time) to set up altars to sacrifice animals on as a way of saying, "thank you" to God and to worship him. The reason was, that by an altar and sacrifice you are saying a number of things: Special "I acknowledge that this is a special occasion", "The Only True God did this". Sacrifice There is also something of personal sacrifice here. In a way, Noah was saying "This animal could have been food to me and looked after MY needs, but for my love to God I will take the time to set up an altar and sacrifice the food 'to God' and give it up", so saying that a relationship with God was worth more, and that thinking of HIM comes first". It does seems strange though - having taken such care to save the animals because of the flood to then kill a few of them in a sacrifice AFTER the flood!! Heee Heee! Saviour It is also a symbolic sacrifice of "your life" - like a part of you is dying, and also an acknowledge meant that before just a great and awsome God, we do not deserve to live. The sacrifices also said, "Death is necessary to cover sin, so this is going to die in my place as a token acceptance of my unworthiness". This is a type or symbol of the sacrifice made by Christ. Without all the Old Testament altars and sacrifices we would not have understood the significance of Christ's sacrificial death for us. He was a perfect, spotless sacrifice so making perfect and fulfilling the offering and legal requirements of God's law. If God only worked on a mystical, spiritual level (as with some other religions) that would be cheap and become pure theatre. All God's law, commands, teaching, sacrifices etc also work on a human practical and social level too. eg the food laws, and much in Leviticus, were not just spiritual but also to do with sound, practical 'health' reasons. NT commands to love and be kind are not just because God is watching us, or we want to store up treasures in heaven, of be right with God. We also are to do them to make the human world a better place - to build a good healthy society. Likewise sacrifices worked on a very practical earthly level too - I am giving up something that is sustainence to me.
Source: Gen 8:20-21
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Responsibilities: Leadership team (), Website ( - Co-ordinator), Worship ( - Pianist), Small group leaders ( - Co-ordinator), Multimedia Team ( - Co-ordinator), Sermons.

Trevor is a pastor and teacher for a new generation! Trevor comes from Oxford, in England, UK. After University, he was invited to be part of bible teaching team across a large group of churches. He has now been serving the Lord of over 20 years. He is the author of many publications, a well-loved musician and songwriter, and as a website/mobile developer, also publishes a lot online. After an incredible and powerful call of God, he now lives with his wife and three children in Nowy Sącz, Southern Poland where he serves as a Pastor. His inspiring, interactive - as well as challenging preaching has brought many to the Lord and he now serves churches of other (or no) demonination across the country and beyond. His passion is evangelism, Christian character based discipleship, and specific ministry training - through focusing on Christ-centered, spirit-filled bible teaching coupled with personal mentoring. To this end, he provides 'Preacher training courses', 'leadership/team building seminars' and for over 10 years has led the hugely successful 'Level 12' youth conferences, attracting 100s of young people across the area each quarter.

He says, :
'People need to feel they belong and have a clear direction in life. Jesus alone meets that need. People need heros, role models and Godly examples to follow. Jesus is their answer. People need to be full of hope with a positive outlook and expectation of what the future brings. Jesus is that fulfillment. It is such an honour and privilege to help lead one of the best churches in Southern Poland! It's wonderful to pour in values of the Kingdom of God into the hearts of people - leading them to a deeper relationship with Jesus. In this church, we are investing in people that which will continue to grow over the next 20 years and more.'

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