How do you build an altar in your home? What does it entail?
1 Chronicles 21:22
NLT - 22 David said to Araunah, “Let me buy this threshing floor from you at its full price. Then I will build an altar to the Lord there, so that he will stop the plague.”
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In my opinion no altar is needed in a home. Elsewhere on this site there is a question: "What is an altar" that may be helpful. Here is part of that answer: "In the broadest sense, an altar is merely a designated place where a person consecrates himself to someone or something. Many church buildings have “altars” for prayer, communion, weddings, and other sacred purposes. Some Christians create their own “altars” for personal worship as visible reminders of Romans 12:1, which says to “present yourself as a living sacrifice.” In the Old Testament the altar was where the High Priest would offer sacrifices. Since Jesus was the last sacrifice, an altar is no longer needed for that purpose. An altar is a place where you can formally come before God. You may designate an area in your home an altar: a chair or table or desk or even a shelf. You could put objects there to help you worship or concentrate. Perhaps a prayer journal where you record your prayers and their answers. You'd be amazed at the answers you receive when you keep track. Many others may have suggestions, but be aware that none of it is needed or required. I say no altar is needed because Hebrews 4:14-16 reminds us that we can go berfore the throne of grace grace because Jesus is our High Priest before the throne of God. This can be done anywhere and any time in our lives. The only danger in actually constructing an altar in our home woud be that it could become a place where we think we have to physically be to do the things we could do anywhere. The objects we place there could become like idols thinking that we "have to have them" to approach God. That may inhibit our ability to go before God in time of need anywhere. It should not become a replacement for going to church and being in Christian fellowship with others. So, by all means, have an altar, or not.
Taking the verses you chose to ask about an altar, for there are many times the Bible speaks of an altar, I think the important aspect of consideration is David's desire and motivation. Go back to 1 Chronicles 21:17 and see David claiming sole responsibility for sinning against God and counting his strength in manpower instead of depending on God for His Mighty Power. David in complete repentance as Moses did, begs to be punished as the Shepard, instead of the sheep.So God says to build an altar on the precise spot He chose.Then see the response of Araunah to David, as he was willing to give all he had to God and David, for the purpose of saving the people.Then see David's response to not taking the gift without it costing him something. I have cited all these points and not directly answered your question about the physical aspects of an altar to say this. I believe God accepts our offerings of repentance and praise on the Spiritual altar of our sincere heartfelt and broken pride prayers humblingly cried out to Him, with or without a physical altar. To your specific question. God told Moses and Joshua to use uncut stones for an altar or do not cut with a sword as the altar was to be used as a place of atonement, then He allowed in Exodus 27: 1-6 to use acacia wood and gold.
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