Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. (Genesis 12:7-8 ESV)
A memory from the past can be very powerful in our lives. A bad relationship from years earlier can affect the way we deal with others of the opposite sex today. A teacher encouraging us in our endeavors can keep us going when we fail, even years after the initial encouragement. We might remember these memories through physical tokens we carry, or even “emotional baggage”.
We witness here that whenever Abram had an encounter with God or needed his help, he built an altar. Generally, in our day, we aren’t taught to erect an altar at church, but it’s important that we have an appreciation for them. Altars served as a testament and a reminder for what God had done. It was a physical representation of God’s constant work in the lives of his people.
Maybe we should start erecting altars in our life whenever God moves. It doesn’t need to be made of stone, but maybe a special journal, a piece of art, or even a paper weight we can look to and remember what a great God we serve.
What do you have to remind you of what God has done for you during a special time in your life?