The first thing that Abraham did when he came into the promised land was to build an altar. This may not seem significant but it it is of utmost importance. Generally, humans tend to look out for themselves and seek ways of satisfying their needs first. However, after traveling for such a long period of time and although he may have been quite tired from the journey he put himself aside and build an altar unto the Lord. Putting one’s self and feelings aside is not an easy task and require great sacrifice one’s part. In essence, it demands that one be dead to their fleshly desires.
An altar represents something permanent. Abraham’s first desire was to offer to God something that would be lasting. He was determined to offer something to God that was indestructible and would remain unchanged indefinitely. It also represents a place of sacrifice and worship. Abraham was basically saying, God, I will put you first and permanently lay down my life as a sacrifice of worship unto you. His lifestyle of putting God first was also transferred to his son Issac.
In the book of Genesis, the Bible states that “Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well” Gen 26:25. The significance of this text I believe is that Isaac built an altar unto the Lord and pitched his tent. I say this because Isaac offered unto God that which was permanent(an altar) and built for himself something that was temporary (tent). A tent is something that can easily be erected and removed. Isaac was stating emphatically by his actions that the things of God were more important that anything and would always be permanent. Whereas, the things caters to his needs are temporary. He understood that they could be easily established and removed. He was also demonstrating that he was depending on the leading of God for his life and was willing to move whenever and wherever God wanted him to. He displayed that his life really belonged to God and that he would honor Him even with his body.
The word admonishes us to present our bodies as living sacrifices holy and acceptable unto God. Won’t you build an altar unto God with your life? Won’t you permanently lay down your life as a sacrifice of worship unto God? Won’t you give God that which is permanent as it pertains to your life?