The Altar of Our Hearts

A verse that my father pointed out yesterday when I was Bible studying has been on my mind and I’d like to share some thoughts about it before I take off for Michigan for the weekend. It is the first part of 2 Chronicles 16:9

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him.

The word ‘perfect’ is from the Hebrew shâlêm (H8003 שׁלם). I know very little about Hebrew, but the definintion for this word that is given in my Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible is intriguing: “It means complete, whole, perfect …  uninjured, unhewn, untouched stones … peaceful, friendly, cherishing peace and friendship … It is interesting that the stones for the original altar and Solomon’s Temple were uncut (shâlêm).”

It is indeed interesting that the word for a heart that is perfect with God is the same word used to describe an altar upon which sacrifices could be offered to God. It is even more compelling when we consider the New Testament verses that speak of us as “the temple of God” (1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16). The Greek word in these verses is naos (G3485 ναός), which is used to refer to the Holy of Holies.

As we continue to keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread, it is a good time to examine our hearts before God. Are we offering ourselves as acceptable sacrifices? Do we say with the Psalmist, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer” (Psalms 19:14).

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)

By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (Hebrews 13:15)

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