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Maintain the Flame (3 of 5)
Series: Laws to Live By
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Leviticus 6:12-13 "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."
This fire on the altar was not to go out because this was God's altar. This was a fire lit by the Lord. When the Tabernacle was dedicated the Lord sent fire down from heaven to ignite this fire that burned on the altar day and night. The priests were instructed to keep wood on the fire and see to it that the fire never went out. This was their solemn responsibility. The Lord did not give this instruction once, but twice. When God says a thing once it's important, but when he says it twice you can be sure it is doubly important.
It's true we don't worship with burnt offerings in this day of grace. We don't make an eternal flame in our churches as they were to do. But there is a modern application to this Old Testament command that God gave to the priests of the Tabernacle. In the Old
Testament the altar was in the Tabernacle but in the New Testament the altar is in the human heart. In the Old Testament God had a temple for His people, but in the New Testament God has a people for His temple. The sacred fire on the altar is to never go out on the altar of our hearts. Paul says, "Your bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit."
The fire on the altar, the eternal flame on which sacrifices were made to God was to be tended with care. Other duties could be postponed, other tasks could be deferred, but the fire on the altar was to be kept burning because it was the visible symbol of God's presence among his people.
I. THE FIRE ON THE ALTAR REPRESENTS GOD'S PRIESTS
In I Peter 2:9 Peter says, "But you are a chosen people, a royal pr ...
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