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Exodus 20:22-26, The Law Concerning the Altar

Friday, June 8

A Simple God

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.

a simple altar for a simple God

The Israelites had been living in Egypt for over 400 years. They had become quite accustomed to the gods and idols of Egypt. Their trinkets were made of silver and gold -- the extravagance of the country made by the blood, sweat, and tears of slaves.

God wanted none of it. No silver idols. No altars made with stones adorned with chiseling. God simply wanted an altar made of untouched stones -- a place the people could come and worship simply with their offerings and sacrifices. 

This was quite a counter-cultural idea -- a God that did not desire displays of wealth and extravagance. This is a God that desires the attention of the people. This is a God that loves the people as much as the people love God. Now, this is the way you build a nation!

Narrative Lectionary Text: Exodus 20:22-26

The Lord said to Moses: Thus you shall say to the Israelites: “You have seen for yourselves that I spoke with you from heaven. You shall not make gods of silver alongside me, nor shall you make for yourselves gods of gold. You need make for me only an altar of earth and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and your offerings of well-being, your sheep and your oxen; in every place where I cause my name to be remembered I will come to you and bless you. But if you make for me an altar of stone, do not build it of hewn stones; for if you use a chisel upon it you profane it. You shall not go up by steps to my altar, so that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.”