The Altar


The olive tree and its fruit always represent the spiritual devotional life of the people of God. Before the cross, the olive oil was to be replenished without fail every day.

Today’s Reading: Exodus 27

Key Verse: Exodus 27:20

And you shall command the children of Israel that they bring you pure oil of pressed olives for the light, to cause the lamp to burn continually.

The horns of the altar literally stand out for all who enter the outer court of the tabernacle. As with some animals, the horns speak of protection from attack as well as weapons to attack. Defense and offense are God’s commitments to us. God cares for all who trust Him. Animal sacrifices were consumed here. For us who believe in Jesus Christ, the Sacrifice of the cross provides protection and also the cross is obvious as our message to the whole world. The olive tree and its fruit always represent the spiritual devotional life of the people of God. The olive oil was to be replenished without fail every day. The Sunday School chorus says, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine.” It’s one way to make sure our spiritual life is burning brightly.


Lord God, I pray for fresh oil in the lamp of my life today. Holy Spirit, You are often represented in Scripture as Oil. When my light is about to go out please fill me with Yourself, Holy Spirit. I want to be a brightly shining light in this dark world. Thank You for answering my prayer. I receive now. In the Name of Jesus, the one of whom John the Baptist said, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matt 3:11b). Amen!


Among my childhood memories are the words of prayers I would hear God’s people pray. One had to do with holding on to the horns of the altar. My imagination was fired with a picture of the one praying holding to those horns and refusing to let go until God’s voice was heard and His purposes fulfilled. I thought of a stubborn unyielding determination to stay in fervent prayer until the answer came from God. Then there was my Father’s prayer and one of the many couplets he would quote. It went like this: “May Heaven come down our souls to greet, and may Glory crown the Mercy Seat.” I was not too sure what it meant, but I knew that Dad’s prayer was answered as his face lit up with joy. We prayed on our knees every day after each meal. What an amazing spiritual inheritance I received from my parents. Norma-Jean and I had a different pattern we followed with our children, but the results were the same in their lives as in mine. The Oil was replenished daily and the flame continues until today.

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