I absolutely love reading the bible and although I don’t read it as much as I should, I love studying the different scriptures, I love how the same scripture can be used many different ways and I also love the many different interpretations one scripture can have. This is why I am also jotting down notes or pulling up a different version of the bible when I am in church or in bible study. I don’t do it to see if the pastor is wrong but I do it so that I can get an understanding because after all it is my responsibility to know what I am being taught, right? Well in bible study last night, something was said that stirred my spirit. Pastor Letcher said every time you come to the altar, you ought to bring fresh wood referring to the passage he preached from on Sunday, Leviticus 6:12-13. (Hmm…my wheels are turning.) Now, if you’ve never read Leviticus, do so. In Leviticus 6, the Lord is speaking to Moses on how people should make amends for the sins they’ve committed against their neighbors. In the bible days, you had to offer up guilt offerings on the altar. Again, in this particular scripture, God said you had to return whatever it is you’ve stolen, found that wasn’t yours, cheated them out of or even borrowed to never give back and not only did you have to give it back but you had to add a fifth of the value to it and give it all back on the day you present your guilt offering to the priest. A guilt offering, in biblical days, was a ram from your flock, one without a flaw or defect. Then the priest would take the guilt offering to the altar to burn before God. In Leviticus 6:12-13, God gave this command to Aaron and his sons (the priests), “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it. The fire must be kept burning on the altar continuously; it must not go out.”
Now, these are just my thoughts but go with me for a minute. Could you imagine the amount of fire that would be burning if we had to offer up a guilt offering every time we sinned? Could you imagine folk, now, knowing every time you’ve sinned simply because you had to bring a guilt offering to the altar? Would there be any wood left to keep the fire burning? Oh but now God has given us the authority to build altars inside of worship places for us to bring our mess, our guilt silently and without being seen. God has given the authority to build altars for us to bring our mess to Him without anyone knowing and yet we won’t even bring fresh wood to keep the fire burning. What do you mean by fresh wood? I’m glad you asked. I mean our sins, our mess, our guilt and our wrongdoings. We got the audacity to sin yet we won’t go before the altar to throw it on the fire. We got the nerve to do wrong in the sight of God yet we won’t bring fresh wood to keep the fire burning. How hard is it to do your part especially when none of us are perfect? Using my spiritual imagination, I can see my sins being thrown on the fire of the altar every chance I get to leave them there and when it or they are consumed by the fire, that’s God accepting them and once He accepts them, I can’t get them back which means, my sins have been forgiven AND forgotten. Oh, that’s enough right there for my worship to be better leaving the altar. I don’t know about you but every day I am chopping fresh wood, (that’s sinning whether intentionally or unintentionally, big or small) and I plan on leaving it on the fire of the altar every chance I get. See, when I bring fresh wood to the fire, it makes my worship that much better because I leave restored, renewed and revived which makes my worship real. What about you?