building altars, carrying burdens, Cullen Hightower, enteing the Promised Land, experiencing God, faith, Genesis 12:6-7, Genesis 35:4, God's word, Living Water, Moreh, personal altar, pray, Shechm, worship
Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him. Genesis 12:6-7
Every hot-hearted seeker of God will build an altar of dedication in their lives. Early on in his walk with God, Abraham learned the benefits of building this type of altar. In order to understand the process of dedication Abraham went through, we need to understand this sacred place called Shechem.
Shechem means “the shoulder – place to carry burdens”. It sits between two mountains, Mount Ebal (Barren) and Mount Gerazim (Fruitful).
I have had the privilege of visiting Shechem. It is now in Palestinian control. It is also the place were the Children of Israel buried the bones of Joseph when they entered the Promised Land. Shechem is seen as the entrance to the Promised Land.
Both Abraham and the Children of Israel carried the burdens of their past into the Promised Land. God wants all of His children free from burdens in order to be blessed with the fruit of the land. Abraham, the Father of Faith, was first to lead us into God’s promises. Abraham came to the place in his life where he was ready to spend time with God and allow the Lord to teach Him His ways.
Every day we must set aside time to come to our personal altar where we read God’s word, worship Him, and pray. Like Abraham, we must have a dedicated place set aside to experience the Lord. Here we will encounter Him afresh and the Lord will teach us His ways.
Do you have a Shechem or Moreh in your life? Where is it? If you don’t have such a time or place, you must purpose to build it now! It must be a quiet, sacred place where you go to experience God. Building an altar of dedication will not happen by itself. The responsibility is yours. Too many people are waiting for the Lord to move, yet they never arrive at Moreh to meet with their Creator upon His altar.
In Genesis 35:4 and Joshua 24:23-26 we learn more about Moreh in Shechem. Jacob buried the family idols at the foot of this same tree by the altar of his grandfather. In addition, the Children of Israel, under the guidance of Joshua, erected a stone of covenant at this same spot and purposed wholly to follow the Lord.
As we come daily to our personal altars the Lord will reveal those “idols” in our lives which need to be buried and forsaken. These are things we have placed before God and interfere with our worship. In these quiet moments at the altar we can bury these idols and be cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
This altar at Moreh was the same place that Jacob later built a well which existed in Jesus’ time. Do you think this is all an accident? Or is God trying to speak to us? Here Jesus told the Samaritan woman “He was the Living Water.” (see John 4:12, 21-23)
All this began centuries earlier because one man, Abraham, dedicated himself to the Lord and built an altar to God. You too could change the destinies of people’s lives because you sanctified yourself on God’s altar.